Monday 19 November 2012

Britain is a country with a city called Glasgow which is no city for young men and by default, old men, and nobody knows why


Glasgow in Scotland is no city for old men because there are relatively less of them than in comparative cities. A study by 'Glasgow Centre for Population Health' has shown that Glaswegians between 15 and 44 are especially likely to die before Liverpudlians and Mancunians of the same age group whhich in turn translates itself into less old men.

Glasgow, for all its charms, is sick—and not metaphorically. Glaswegians die younger than other Britons and nobody knows why. The facts about Glasgow are that :

* even in wealthy neighbourhoods, mortality rates are 15% higher than in similar districts of other big cities and in rougher parts the difference is starker.

* between 2003 and 2007 there were 4,500 more deaths  than might have been expected given the age and poverty of the population.

* up until 1950 it did not stand out as particularly sickly, but between 1950 and 1980 a gap opened up between it and other big cities in Britain and the difference was mainly explained by a greater number of deaths from cancer and heart disease then in about 1980, the gap with other cities widened again.

* one theory is that it is captured by its history, locked into multi-generational patterns of bad behaviour that get passed from parent to child and in the 19th century, when rapid urbanisation cramped workers into unsanitary housing, there was often nowhere at home to sit down, so men did so in the pub and have been drinking hard ever since, Glaswegians, however, smoke and binge-drink less than the others.

* another theory is that Glasgow is suffering from the effects of deindustrialisation with the closure of the shipyards on the River Clyde, which often include a decline in health as well as employment, however, when the 'Glasgow Centre' examined 20 regions in Europe which went through rapid deindustrialisation, it came out sicker, even when its residents were richer and better educated than their continental peers.

* a third theory is that Glaswegians are just gloomier than other Britons and put a lower price on the future manifesting itself itself in, among other things, an excessive love of deep-fried Mars bars and other health-sapping delicacies, poor Mancunians and Liverpudlians, however, eat just as few green vegetables as poor Glaswegians

* data on self-reported happiness are inconclusive  and Phil Hanlon of Glasgow University has said :“When you ask people in a room to write down how happy they are on a scale between one and ten, they tend to write something between six-and-a-half and eight, so the differences between Glasgow and other cities are not that big."

The 'Glasgow Effect' may well be a problem without a solution with it unintentionally remaining, no city for old men.
Glasgow is also no city for an old Duke of Wellington outside the Gallery of Modern Art.

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