From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

Unit Image
If Glasgow had the same socio-economic profile as the rest of Scotland, many, but not all of its excess health problems would disappear.

New insights into Glasgow's health

posted on: Jul 20, 2007

Poor health is associated with poverty and this new research, commissioned by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and carried out by Dr Linsay Gray of the Medical Research Council, found that many of the negative aspects of health and lifestyle in Glasgow and the surrounding area are due to it being more deprived. For instance, cardiovascular disease and smoking rates were no higher in the area compared with the rest of Scotland once its relatively high levels of deprivation had been taken into account. However, also it also reveals that there are aspects of health and lifestyle which are worse in the Glasgow area compared with the rest of the country that are unexplained by the levels of poverty. These include poorer mental health, bad diet and among men excess alcohol consumption.


Based on over 25,000 individuals, the research makes comparisons of three geographical areas: West Central Scotland, Greater Glasgow Health Board (pre-dating merger with Clyde) and the Glasgow City area, with the rest of Scotland.


The research also highlights that within the Glasgow area itself substantial differences exist in the health characteristics of those living in the most and least deprived areas.


Interestingly, some aspects of health and lifestyle are no different in the Glasgow area to elsewhere in Scotland, despite Glasgow’s relatively higher levels of poverty. These include obesity, aspects of diet and for females, alcohol consumption.


Contact: Valerie Millar, Glasgow Centre for Population Health

Tel: 0141 221 9439



A copy of the full report is available to download at



For more information on the ‘Understanding the “Glasgow Effect”’ Project click here