The healthy life expectancy of a poor man is 26 years less than that of a more affluent one, official statistics show.

Figures released as part of a Scottish Government report on health inequalities showed that a man in the most deprived areas of Scotland could expect to live to 47 years old in good health between 2017 and 2019, compared to 73 for the most affluent.

The gap between the highest and lowest earners in the country is also growing, the report showed, from 22.5 years between 2013-2015.

There is also a stark difference in the healthy life expectancy of women, the report showed, with the gap between 2017 and 2019 sitting at 22.1 years.

The most affluent women could expect to live in good health up to the age of 71.6, compared to 49.5 for their less well-off counterparts.

However, the gap for women has closed in recent years, from 23.8 years in 2013-2015.

Figures released on Monday by National Records of Scotland (NRS) showed that healthy life expectancy for all Scots is the lowest since records began in 2009-2011, falling to 61.9 in 2017-2019.

The report takes into account three different aspects of health, with premature mortality and mental health issues assessed as well as healthy life expectancy.

According to the study, Scots in the least affluent areas were four times more likely to die before the age of 75 than those who are better-off.

In 2019, 817.6 people per 100,000 died before reaching the threshold in the poorest parts of the country, compared to just 198.2 in more well-off areas.

Scotland as a whole has seen premature deaths drop significantly in the past 23 years, from 651.9 to 425.6 per 100,000.

In terms of mental health, the wellbeing of people in the poorest areas was described as “below average” in 24% of cases, compared to just 9% of those in more well-off areas.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Reducing health inequalities is one of the biggest challenges we face as a country.

“Many inequalities are a symptom of wider income inequalities, and that’s why the Scottish Government is doing everything it can – under the financial and constitutional constraints placed upon us – to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland.

“We are driving investment in affordable housing, providing free school meals and continuing to deliver on our commitments to provide free prescriptions, concessionary travel and free personal care.

“This year we will spend £125 million on welfare mitigation and to protect those on low incomes – £20 million more than last year.

“This approach is backed up with decisive action to address alcohol consumption, reduce smoking rates, encourage active living and healthy eating.”