ARGYLL and Bute’s decrease in life expectancy found in recent figures is connected to Covid-19, the area’s MP has said.

Figures released by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) reveal that between 2018-2020, females living in the area are expected to live until 81.6 years of age while men are expected to live until 78.0 years of age.

However, life expectancy for males in the area has fallen from 78.2 between 2012-2014, and for females from 81.9.

East Renfrewshire has the highest life expectancy for women at 84, while in Shetland men can expect to live until they are over 80.

Helensburgh’s MP, Brendan O’Hara (SNP), commented on the reason for the decrease: “This NRS report shows the biggest annual decrease in life expectancy in Scotland since records began. It also states life expectancy has fallen in all nations of the UK.

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“We have been, and continue to be, in a pandemic and while no one wants to see life expectancy rates falling, it is not surprising. Argyll and Bute still has above average life expectancy when compared to the national average.

“The report also makes it very clear that deprivation is inextricably linked to higher mortality rates.

“This is why we must do more to support the poorest and most vulnerable in society.”

Julie Ramsay, head of vital events statistics at NRS, said: “Our analysis shows that Covid-19 deaths accounted for the vast majority of the fall in life expectancy for both males and females, with drug-related deaths also having a negative impact on life expectancy for males.

“Covid-19 has clearly driven a significant increase in deaths and this life expectancy measure will provide important evidence as to whether the impact of the pandemic is a one-off shock or whether it will have a sustained impact on mortality.”