External Causes of Death in Scotland: How Much Do They Contribute to Increasing Variation in Age-at-Death?

Rosie Seaman, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Mortality outcomes in Scotland are poor within the context of Western Europe. Following the 1980s it experienced increasing premature mortality rates from suicide, substance and alcohol abuse, and accidents. These unfavourable mortality patterns are reflected in its life expectancy trend which has demonstrated the slowest relative rate of improvement. An additional, but lesser studied, dimension of mortality is variation in age-at-death. Higher variation in age-at-death is interpreted as higher inequality. Lower variation in age-at-death means age at death is more homogenous and is beneficial in terms of planning savings, pensions and health care needs. In a study of 17 Western European countries Scotland demonstrated the longest, sustained stagnating trend in variation in age-at-death. It is hypothesized that part of the explanation for Scotland’s trend is persisting premature adult mortality rates from external causes of death. This is the first study to estimate the age and cause-specific contributions to Scotland’s trend using individual level mortality data, covering the whole population from 1979 to 2016.

Presented in Poster Session 2