Fatal assaults 30 times higher among poor Scots than among most affluent

May 5, 2010, British Medical Journal

Fatal assaults among the most disadvantaged in Scotland are more than 30 times as high as they are among the most affluent sectors of society, reveals research published today in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Estimates suggest that violence costs the Scottish economy around £3 billion a year in terms of healthcare, law enforcement, and lost productivity.

The authors base their findings on an analysis of all 1,109 certified deaths due to assault in Scotland between 1980 and 2005.

The murder rate in Scotland has been steadily increasing since 1980, accompanied by rising from suicide, and related to drug and alcohol misuse.

The findings showed that the rate of fatal assaults was significantly higher in Scotland than in other high income countries in Europe, with rates among Scottish men more than double those of their European peers.

The most noticeable increase in fatal assaults was among men aged between 15 and 44, whose death rates doubled between 1981 and 2004.

Fatal stab wounds from knives and other sharp weapons accounted for most of this increase.

Despite the fact that fatal assaults made up just over 3% of deaths among men aged 15 to 44, these deaths accounted for almost 6.5% of the difference in death rates among the most and least deprived sectors of the population.

The death rate among men aged 20 to 59 with manual/labouring jobs was 12 times higher than it was among men of the same age with higher managerial/professional jobs.

Men under the age of 65 living in the most deprived areas were almost 32 times as likely to die following an assault as those living in the most affluent areas.

This rate of 127 per 100,000 of the population is the same as the death rate from stroke, and higher than the death rate from , say the authors.

Among women, the difference was even more striking. Those living in the most deprived areas were 35 times as likely to die following an assault as those living in the most affluent areas.

"Not only do these inequalities for assault exceed those for other causes of death in Scotland, but also they far exceed the ratio reported for homicide in Great Britain," say the authors.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sweet, bitter, fat: New study reveals impact of genetics on how kids snack

February 22, 2018
Whether your child asks for crackers, cookies or veggies to snack on could be linked to genetics, according to new findings from the Guelph Family Health Study at the University of Guelph.

The good and bad health news about your exercise posts on social media

February 22, 2018
We all have that Facebook friend—or 10—who regularly posts photos of his or her fitness pursuits: on the elliptical at the gym, hiking through the wilderness, crossing a 10K finish line.

Smartphones are bad for some teens, not all

February 21, 2018
Is the next generation better or worse off because of smartphones? The answer is complex and research shows it largely depends on their lives offline.

Tackling health problems in the young is crucial for their children's future

February 21, 2018
A child's growth and development is affected by the health and lifestyles of their parents before pregnancy - even going back to adolescence - according to a new study by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, ...

Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette 'vapors': study

February 21, 2018
Significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils and are present in the aerosols inhaled by users, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public ...

Why teens need up to 10 hours' sleep

February 21, 2018
Technology, other distractions and staying up late make is difficult, but researchers say teenagers need to make time for 8-10 hours of sleep a night to optimise their performance and maintain good health and wellbeing.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet May 28, 2010
This report only tells about the victims of fatal assaults, not about the ones doing it. Since males commit about 90% of violent crime, if they need to find who did it, they could do some profiling. They need to look for someone with testicles to find out who did the fatal assult. Since males are the primary victim of males who kill, I would wonder more why many times more women are becoming the victims of fatal assult as I would expect that in stressful times, even more males would be the victim than normal.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.