Scottish Health Survey: local area results 2014-17 combined

Summary of key statistics from the Scottish Health Survey for each NHS Board and some Local Authority areas.

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Summary of results for NHS Boards

Self-assessed general health

The proportion of adults who rate their general health to be good or very good was significantly lower in Ayrshire & Arran (69%) and Greater Glasgow & Clyde (70%) than in Scotland as a whole (74%). In Orkney (82%), Lothian, and Grampian (both 78%), the proportion in good or very good health was significantly higher than the estimate for Scotland.


The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale ( WEMWBS) is used to measure mental wellbeing. The mean score for adults in Scotland in 2014-2017 was 49.9 - those living in Ayrshire & Arran, Tayside (both 49.1), and Greater Glasgow & Clyde (49.3) had significantly lower mean scores than the Scotland estimate. Mean scores were significantly higher than the Scottish average for residents of Grampian (50.9), Western Isles, and Highland (51.0).

General Health Questionnaire ( GHQ-12) scores

The General Health Questionnaire ( GHQ-12) is used to identify individuals showing signs of the presence of a possible psychiatric disorder (as indicated by scores of four or higher). In Grampian, Shetland (both 12%), and Forth Valley (14%) the proportion with scores of 4+ was significantly lower than the proportion in Scotland as a whole (16%). The proportion of adults with scores of 4+ in Greater Glasgow & Clyde (18%) was significantly higher than in Scotland as a whole. In Scotland overall, significantly more women than men had a score of 4+ (17% compared to 14%).

Long-term conditions

A significantly lower proportion of adults in Grampian and Lothian (27%) reported a limiting condition compared to Scotland overall (32%), while this proportion was significantly higher in Ayrshire & Arran (47%). A significantly higher proportion of Scottish women (34%) than men (30%) reported a long-term condition that limited their daily activities in some way.

Alcohol consumption

In the period 2014-2017, the proportion of adults who exceeded government guidelines on weekly alcohol consumption [1] was significantly lower than the national average (25%) in Western Isles and Tayside (both 20%). Adults in Lothian (30%) and Forth Valley (29%) exceeded the weekly guidelines by a significantly higher proportion than across Scotland as a whole. In all health boards, a significantly higher proportion of men than women drank exceeded the weekly guidelines.

Residents of Borders (10.1), Tayside (10.6), and Highland (11.3) reported a significantly lower mean number of units consumed among drinkers on a weekly basis than the Scottish average (12.7). Drinkers in Ayrshire and Arran reported a significantly higher average of 14.5 units.


An estimated 21% of adults were regular smokers between 2014 and 2017, with prevalence significantly higher among men than women (22% of men, 19% of women). The proportion of regular smokers was lowest in Orkney and Western Isles (17%) although this was not significantly lower than the Scotland figure. However, the highest proportion - Greater Glasgow & Clyde (23%) - was significantly higher than the Scotland figure.

Overweight (including obesity) [2]

In Scotland, 65% of individuals were overweight or obese, with the figure for men (68%) significantly higher than that for women (62%). Results for a number of boards were significantly different to the Scotland figure. These included lower results for Lothian (58%), and higher results for Ayrshire & Arran (70%), Lanarkshire (71%), Western Isles, and Orkney (both 73%).

Obesity [3]

In 2014-2017, obesity rates were significantly lower in Lothian (24%) and Greater Glasgow & Clyde (26%) compared to the Scottish average (29%). The rates for adults in Fife (32%), Lanarkshire (33%), Ayrshire & Arran (33%), Western Isles (34%), and Shetland (37%) were significantly higher than for Scotland overall. At Scotland level, the obesity rate for women (30%) was significantly higher than the rate for men (28%).

Fruit and vegetable consumption

The proportion of adults consuming the recommended five portions (or more) of fruit and vegetables per day was significantly lower than across Scotland as a whole (21%) among Ayrshire & Arran (15%) and Lanarkshire (16%). The proportion in Lothian (28%) was significantly higher than the Scotland figure. At Scotland level, the proportion consuming the recommended five portions (or more) was significantly higher for women (22%) than men (20%).

The mean portions of fruit and vegetables consumed per day in Ayrshire & Arran (2.7) and Lanarkshire (2.8) was significantly lower than the Scottish mean (3.2 portions). The number was significantly higher in Lothian (3.6) compared to the national average, while at Scotland level women consumed significantly more portions (3.3) compared to men (3.0).

Physical activity

In 2014-2017, the lowest proportion of adults meeting the physical activity guidelines was observed in Borders and Ayrshire & Arran (both 60%), while the highest proportion was in Lothian (68%). However, due to sample sizes, only the Ayrshire & Arran and Lothian proportions were significantly different to that of Scotland (64%). Men in Scotland were significantly more likely to meet the guideline (68%) than women (59%).

Cardiovascular ( CVD) conditions

The proportion of individuals reporting a doctor-diagnosed CVD condition was significantly higher than the Scottish average of 15% in Ayrshire & Arran (20%) and Fife (18%). The rate was significantly lower than the Scottish average in Lothian (12%) and Shetland (13%). At Scotland level, men were significantly more likely to have a CVD condition (17%) than women (15%).


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