Deaths in Scotland were at their highest level in 15 years in the first quarter of this year, according to new figures.
There were 16,521 deaths registered in the first three months of this year, 18.4% more than in the same period of 2014, provisional statistics from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show.
This was the highest number of first-quarter deaths since 2000, although levels remain substantially lower than those seen in the 1980s, the Scottish Government said.
The main drivers of the increase were deaths from respiratory diseases and circulatory diseases.
Compared with the same period in 2014, the number of deaths from coronary heart disease rose by 12.4% to 2,008, deaths from stroke increased by 20.2% to 1,317, and there were 4,072 deaths from cancer, a rise of 4.2%.
The birth rate also fell, with 13,320 births registered in Scotland in the first quarter of 2015, 4.4% less than in the same period of last year.
This was the lowest number of births in quarter one since 2003.
However, the number of marriages increased, with 3,889 marriages in total, 340 more than the figure for the first quarter of 2014 and a rise of 9.6%.
Of these, there were 462 same-sex marriages between January 1 and March 31 2015 – the first full quarter since the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Act 2014 came into force in December 2014.
Meanwhile, there were 20 civil partnerships (12 male and eight female), 57 fewer than during the first quarter of 2014.
The figures are provisional as NRS may receive further information which may lead to them being revised.