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The health divide: born in Glasgow, a baby will live to 75...in Dorset, 85

People in Glasgow have the worst life expectancy in the whole of Britain, figures show.

As Glaswegians prepare to welcome some of the world's most elite athletes to their city, the state of local people's health has once again been thrust into the spotlight after a new report revealed that the life expectancy of locals is lagging behind the rest of the UK.

With just weeks to go until the Commonwealth Games begin, a new report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that only three-quarters of boys and 85% of girls born in the city will reach their 65th birthday.

The average life expectancy of babies born in the city in 2010 to 2012 was 72.6 years for boys and 78.5 years for girls - eight to 10 years behind the best performing areas in the UK.

Boys born in East Dorset, the best performing area for males, can expect to live until they reach 83 and baby girls born in Purbeck can expect to reach 86.6 years.

Games officials hope the legacy of the event will encourage local people to get fit. They said they want to build on the enthusiasm surrounding the Games by encouraging people to be more physically active.

The ONS report states: "Life expectancy at birth has been used as a measure of the health status of the population since the 1840s.

"Glasgow City was consistently ranked as the area with the lowest male and female life expectancy between 2006-08 and 2010-12."

Scottish Labour's Jackie Baillie MSP said: "We have known for many years that there is a significant difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest parts of Scotland. These new figures reinforce how much work is needed to tackle these outcomes.

"We need to redouble our efforts and have a clear focus on tackling inequality, whether it is in health, housing, education or wealth; all contribute to these figures.

"We can't continue to slash budgets dedicated to tackling poverty and inequality and expect a miraculous reversal of these figures. The Scottish Government must now allocate its budget in a way that supports the poorest in our communities."

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw MSP said: "It is important to stress that there are reasons to be optimistic about improving Glasgow's health record.

"The Games have the potential to make a real impact, improving participation in sport across all ages and leaving a lasting legacy of world-class facilities.

"But, it is also time for the Scottish Government to take a greater role in tackling Glasgow's massive health inequalities.

"Even modest targets on school PE lessons have been consistently missed and the provision of health visitors, who can make such a difference to the health of young children, falls way short of what is needed.

"If we are truly serious about seeing real health improvements, we not only have to maximise the legacy of the Games but also prioritise early action to promote healthier lifestyles."

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