Urgent warning as cases of Victorian disease on the rise in Scotland

A VICTORIAN disease has made a return among Scottish adults amid the cost of living crisis.

Cases of rickets, a result of malnutrition, are now 700 per cent more common in Scotland than in England.

Adult cases of rickets are now 700 per cent higher in Scotland than in England


Adult cases of rickets are now 700 per cent higher in Scotland than in EnglandPhoto credit: Getty
Victorian disease was once eradicated in Britain and is on the rise


Victorian disease was once eradicated in Britain and is on the risePhoto credit: Getty
In rickets, a vitamin D deficiency causes softening of the bones


In rickets, a vitamin D deficiency causes softening of the bonesPhoto credit: Getty

And most cases live in Glasgow and the wider Lanarkshire area.

Dubbed the “disease of poverty” by health experts, rickets is caused by a lack of vitamin D, found in a balanced diet or from exposure to sunlight.

It can cause bones to soften, resulting in bone pain — or skeletal deformities, such as a fracture. B. O-legs or knock-knees.

A freedom of information request from The Sunday Times showed that in 2022 in Scotland – a population of 5.45 million – a total of 442 cases of rickets were recorded.

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In comparison, across England, with a population of 66 million, there were 482 cases.

Data from 13 of Scotland’s 14 health authorities showed a 33 per cent rise in cases over the past five years, from 354 in 2018 to 442 in 2022.

Most rickets victims were recorded by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with 356 cases.

83 cases were recorded by NHS Lanarkshire and three more by NHS Forth Valley.

The return of Victorian diseases such as rickets, measurement and tuberculosis is raising concerns about the impact of poor diet, poverty and the cost of living crisis on Scots’ health.

dr Chris Williams, co-chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland, said: “Universally preventable conditions like these indicate that Scotland has the lowest life expectancy in the UK, while other environmental factors such as a colder climate may also contribute to the results.” .

“More needs to be done as a society to protect low-income people from products that are low in nutritional value or that risk leading to malnutrition if used in place of healthier alternatives.”

“Vulnerable individuals and communities who do not have adequate access to fresh, nutritious food because of affordability or supply issues are at increased risk of suffering from scurvy or rickets due to inadequate nutrition.”

Rickets largely disappeared about fifty years ago as people tried to improve the country’s diet and encourage sun exposure.

The Scottish Conservatives’ shadow health minister, Dr. Sandesh Gulhane said Scots should be “deeply disturbed” as historic diseases from a “bygone era” are more prevalent here than anywhere else in the UK.

He added: “It is shocking that today we see patients being hospitalized with malnutrition while children are suffering from rickets.”

Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labor Party health spokesperson, said it was “just shocking that preventable diseases are on the rise”.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Increasing healthy life expectancy and reducing health inequalities across Scotland remains a clear objective of this Government.”

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“We want everyone in Scotland to be well fed and at a healthy weight. However, we know that people living in poverty have poorer health.

“That’s why the main goal of our 2018 Diet and Weight Gain Plan is to make it easier for everyone to eat healthily and maintain a healthy weight. This includes reducing malnutrition.”

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Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

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