A comparison of health inequalities in urban and rural Scotland

K A Levin, A H Leyland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research suggests that there are significant differences in health between urban and rural areas. Health inequalities between the deprived and affluent in Scotland have been rising over time. The aim of this study was to examine health inequalities between deprived and affluent areas of Scotland for differing ruralities and look at how these have changed over time. Postcode sectors in Scotland were ranked by deprivation and the 20% most affluent and 20% most deprived areas were found using the Carstairs indicator and male unemployment. Scotland was then split into 4 rurality types. Ratios of health status between the most deprived and most affluent areas were investigated using all cause mortality for the Scottish population, 1979-2001. These were calculated over time for 1979-1983, 1989-1993, 1998-2001. Multilevel Poisson modelling was carried out for all of Scotland excluding Grampian to assess inequalities in the population. There was an increase in inequalities between 1981 and 2001, which was greatest in remote rural Scotland for both males and females; however, male health inequalities remained higher in urban areas throughout this period. In 2001 female health inequalities were higher in remote rural areas than urban areas. Health inequalities amongst the elderly (age 65 +) in 2001 were greater in remote rural Scotland than urban areas for both males and females. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1457-1464
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • health inequalities
  • urban/rural
  • multilevel modelling
  • Scotland
  • UK
  • mortality


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