June 27, 2014

This year's Commonwealth Games host city records alarmingly poor health

Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, will be under the media spotlight this summer while it hosts the 2014 Commonwealth Games, though ironically residents have gained a reputation for having the poorest health in the nation.

Research shows that Glasgow has a much higher proportion of the population claiming sickness-related benefit than any other city in Britain.

The Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) found that nearly one in five potential workers in the city claimed incapacity benefit.

Studies also highlight Glasgow’s alarmingly high mortality rate. When compared with UK cities with similar levels of unemployment and deprivation such as Liverpool and Manchester, Glasgow reports approximately 30% more premature deaths, 60% of which are triggered by “unhealthy” lifestyle factors such as drugs and alcohol. One in four Glaswegian men doesn’t live beyond the age of 65.

Unhealthy lifestyles not only have adverse effects on the individual, but also significantly impact upon the labor market (read more on the economic effects of obesity and drug taking).

Read more on the “Glasgow effect” here.