Introduction Avoidable early deaths can be classified as preventable (due to behaviour) or amenable to treatment (Page, Tobias and Glover, 2007). Recent work from England to Wales (Wheller et al 2007) has shown that there have been differing trends for over the period 1993 to 2005 by types of avoidable death. For both men and women there was no trend for unavoidable death rates. Amenable death rates decreased more steeply for men than for women. Preventable causes of death had a downward trend for men, but had no change with time for women.
Methods We use data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) (see http://www.lscs.ac.uk/sls/) to examine equivalent trends for Scotland and to relate them to socioeconomic factors. We used a sample of almost 250 000 SLS members who were aged 0 to 74 from the 1991 Census linked to early deaths to 2008.
Results Overall, 9% of men and 6% of women have died before the age of 75. The proportion of early deaths classed as amenable to medical treatment were 43% (men) and 44% (women), which compares with 36% and 39% for England and Wales. The proportion of early deaths classed as preventable 35% (men) and 30% (women) was more similar to England and Wales (35% and 28%). We will present trends in standardised death rates by these causes and relate them to sex and to socioeconomic status at the time of the 1991 Census.
Conclusion Scotland seems to lag behind England and Wales in reducing mortality due to amenable causes.
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