Stats reveal challenges for government

Heart and lung illnesses lead to higher death rate

smokingA sharp increase in heart and lung related illnesses has led to a significantly higher number of deaths in Scotland.

Figures for births, deaths and other vital events registered during the first quarter of 2015 show that 16,521 deaths were registered in the first quarter of the year which was 2,562 or 18.4% more than in the same period of 2014.

The main causes of the increase were deaths from respiratory diseases and circulatory diseases usually associated with smoking, heavy drinking and poor diet. This was the highest number of first quarter deaths since 2000 although levels remain substantially lower than those seen in the 1980s.

The statistics show there were 462 same-sex marriages in the first full quarter since the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Act came into force in December.

The provisional figures also show that:

  • 13,320 births were registered in Scotland in quarter one – 610 (4.4%) less than in the same period of 2014. The total number of births for the first quarter fell to a low of around 12,400 in 2002. It then rose to around 15,100 in 2008 before falling more gradually to the current level of around 13,300 in 2015.
  • There were 3,889 marriages in total, 340 more than the figure for the first quarter of 2014 (a rise of 9.6%).
  • There were 20 civil partnerships (12 male and 8 female), 57 fewer than during the first quarter of 2014.

Compared with the same period in 2014, the number of deaths from coronary heart disease rose by 12.4% to 2,008, deaths from stroke

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