National Records of Scotland

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Life Expectancy in Community Health Partnership Areas in Scotland, Time Series, 1996-1998 to 2004-2006

Life Expectancy in Community Health Partnership Areas in Scotland, Time Series, 1996-1998 to 2004-2006

3 December 2008

1.    What are Community Health Partnerships?
2.    Definition of Life Expectancy
3.    Accuracy of Results
4.    Life Expectancy Time Series at CHP Level
5.    List of Tables
6.    List of Figures

 

1.    What are Community Health Partnerships

Community Health Partnerships (CHPs) were established by Health Boards under section 2 of the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Act 2004. CHPs are key building blocks in the modernisation of the NHS and joint services, with a vital role in partnership, integration and service design. CHPs aim, amongst other things, to - deliver more innovative services more effectively; shape services to meet local need; integrate health services; improve the health of local communities; be the main NHS agent through which the Joint Future Agenda is delivered; be the main NHS agent through which children's services will be progressed; promote involvement of, and partnership with, staff; secure effective public, patient and carer involvement.

CHPs tend to be in-line with local authority boundaries or in some cases are subdivisions of local authorities. In April 2007 approval was given for the merger of the 2 Edinburgh CHPs (Edinburgh North and South), resulting in there currently being 40 CHP areas.


2.    Definition of Life Expectancy

National Records of Scotland calculate period life expectancy only. Period life expectancy at a given age for an area in a given time period is an estimate of the average number of years a person of that age would survive if he or she experienced the particular areas age-specific mortality rates for that time period throughout the rest of his or her life. Period life expectancy makes no allowance for any later actual or projected changes in mortality. In practice, death rates of the area are likely to change in the future so period life expectancy does not therefore give the number of years someone could actually expect to live. Also, people may live in other areas for at least some part of their lives.

Cohort life expectancies use mortality rates which allow for known or projected changes in mortality in later years.

Survival from a particular age depends only on the mortality rates beyond that age, whereas survival from birth is based on mortality rates at every age. So, for example, if life expectancy at birth was 80 years, one can not deduce that a person age 20 can expect to live for another 60 years. Expectation of the remaining years a 20 year old person has left to live is dependent upon the mortality rates of a 20 year old, 21 year old, 22 year old, and so on. 


3.    Accuracy of Results

Life expectancy at birth, like most statistics, is an estimate which is subject to a margin of error. The accuracy of the results can be indicated by calculating a confidence interval which provides a range of values within which the true underlying life expectancy would lie (with 95% probability).

The 95% confidence intervals for life expectancy at birth and age 65 are given in Table 2 and Table 3 and are illustrated in Figure 1.

There is no simple 'rule of thumb' for the size of confidence intervals, although it largely depends upon the size of the population, and so confidence intervals for areas with small populations tend to be wider. It is also worth noting that life expectancy results in these areas can be affected by the random variation in the number of annual deaths. This means that the results can be erratic and vary from year to year.


4.    Life Expectancy Time Series at CHP Level

Life expectancy at birth, based on 2004-2006 mortality rates, is higher for every CHP area when compared to that based on 1996-1998 mortality rates. It should not be inferred from this that there has been a year-on-year increase in life expectancy at birth for every CHP – this is not the case. Although the end result is an overall increase, expectation of life at birth has fluctuated up and down from year to year for each CHP area except East Dunbartonshire and Edinburgh, which have shown a steady improvement from one year to the next. This can be seen using the scroll chart in Figure 1.

Since 1996-1998 male life expectancy has increased for all CHP areas, this can be seen in Figure 2. The largest increase was in Shetland where life expectancy at birth rose by just over 6 per cent (4.5 years) from 72.1, based on 1996-98 mortality rates, to 76.6 years, based on 2004-06 mortality rates. As a result Shetland rose from 26th to 6th place on the CHP life expectancy rank.  Clackmannanshire, on the other hand has improved the least, rising by only 0.7 per cent (0.5 years), from 72.7 to 73.2 years. As a result Clackmannanshire fell from rank position 21 to rank position 31 (refer to Table 4).

Since 1996-1998 female life expectancy has increased for all CHP areas, this can be seen in Figure 2. The largest increase was in Argyll and Bute where life expectancy rose by 2.9 per cent (2.3 years) from 78.3 years in 1996-1998 to 80.6 in 2004-2006. As a result Argyll and Bute rose from 23rd to 13th position on the CHP life expectancy rank. Moray, on the other hand improved by just 0.01 per cent (0.01 years) remaining at 79.9 years, and dropping from rank position 3 to rank position 18 (refer to  Table 4).

Although life expectancy at birth, for males and females has improved across all CHP areas, the gap between the CHP areas with the longest and shortest life expectancy has widened for both males and females. For males the gap has increased from 8.6 years to 8.8 years and for females the gap has increased from 5.8 years to 5.9 years. 

As illustrated in Figure 1, the gap between male and female life expectancy has narrowed in all CHP areas bar Southeast Highland, Clackmannanshire, Dundee City, East Renfrewshire, and Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth. For these five areas the gap has widened. For example, the difference between male and female life expectancy in Southeast Highland increased by almost 1.0 years during the period of 1996-1998 and 2004-2006, whereas for Inverclyde the difference decreased by over 2 years. Unlike the majority of CHP areas, which see male life expectancy improving at a faster rate than female life expectancy, female life expectancy in Southeast Highland improved at a faster rate than male life expectancy.

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List of Tables

Table 1

Abridged Life Table, by sex, age and CHP area, 1996-1998 to 2004-2006
(Excel    PDF)

Table 2

Life expectancy at birth in Scotland for CHP areas, with 95% upper and lower confidence intervals (all people, males and females), 1996-1998 to 2004-2006
(Excel    PDF)

Table 3

Life expectancy at age 65 in Scotland for CHP areas, with 95% upper and lower confidence intervals (all people, males and females), 1996-1998 to 2004-2006
(Excel    PDF)

Table 4

Life expectancy at birth in Scotland by CHP area, 2004-2006, and comparisons with 1996-1998  (all people, males and females)
(Excel    PDF    CSV)

List of Figures

 

Figure 1

Life expectancy at birth, by CHP area, with 95% lower and upper confidence  intervals, 1996-1998 to 2004-2006 (all people, males and females)
(Excel    PDF)

Figure 2

Percentage increase in life expectancy between 1996-1998 and 2004-2006, by CHP area (males and females)
(Excel    PDF)

Figure 3

Percentage change in life expectancy at birth between 1996-1998 and 2004-2006, by CHP area, males - Map
(PDF)

Figure 4

Percentage change in life expectancy at birth between 1996-1998 and 2004-2006, by CHP area, females - Map
(PDF)

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