Article Text

Spatial inequalities in life expectancy within postindustrial regions of Europe: a cross-sectional observational study
  1. Martin Taulbut1,
  2. David Walsh2,
  3. Gerry McCartney1,
  4. Sophie Parcell2,
  5. Anja Hartmann3,
  6. Gilles Poirier4,
  7. Dana Strniskova5,
  8. Phil Hanlon6
  1. 1NHS Health Scotland, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Glasgow, UK
  3. 3Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany
  4. 4Observatoire Régional de la Santé (ORS), Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Loos, France
  5. 5Regional Public Health Authority of the Olomouc Region of the Czech Republic, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  6. 6University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Martin Taulbut; martintaulbut{at}


Objectives To compare spatial inequalities in life expectancy (LE) in West Central Scotland (WCS) with nine other postindustrial European regions.

Design A cross-sectional observational study.

Setting WCS and nine other postindustrial regions across Europe.

Participants Data for WCS and nine other comparably deindustrialised European regions were analysed. Male and female LEs at birth were obtained or calculated for the mid-2000s for 160 districts within selected regions. Districts were stratified into two groups: small (populations of between 141 000 and 185 000 people) and large (populations between 224 000 and 352 000). The range and IQR in LE were used to describe within-region disparities.

Results In small districts, the male LE range was widest in WCS and Merseyside, while the IQR was widest in WCS and Northern Ireland. For women, the LE range was widest in WCS, though the IQR was widest in Northern Ireland and Merseyside. In large districts, the range and IQR in LE was widest in WCS and Wallonia for both sexes.

Conclusions Subregional spatial inequalities in LE in WCS are wide compared with other postindustrial mainland European regions, especially for men. Future research could explore the contribution of economic, social and political factors in reducing these inequalities.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:

Statistics from

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.