People in Scotland who identify as being part of an ethnic minority have a longer life expectancy than those describing themselves as white Scottish, according to new research.
The Scottish Health and Ethnicity Linkage study by the University of St Andrews examined how the reported health of different ethnic groups contrasted with actual mortality rates by anonymously linking the Scottish census 2001 data for 4.6 million people.
But the research also found not all ethnic minorities live longer in good health, with Indian and Pakistani populations among the longest life expectancies in Scotland but also the highest number of years with poor health.
Pakistani women are expected to live 20.4 years in poor health on average, compared with 8.7 years for white Scottish women.
Dr Genevieve Cezard, of the university’s school of geography and sustainable development, is the author of the study.
She said: “Policymakers should aim to improve the quality of life of Pakistani and Indian populations in Scotland and ensure that fair and culturally adapted care is provided in primary and secondary settings while the root causes of this paradox are pinpointed and better understood.
“Further research should investigate the underlying mechanisms of the morbidity-mortality contrast observed and aim for a better characterisation of the diseases that drive a morbidity disadvantage but do not necessarily lead to worse survival rates.”
The paper, Evidencing The Gap Between Health Expectancy And Life Expectancy For Ethnic Groups In Scotland, is published in Revue Quetelet Journal and available online.