OECD recently published Health Care at a glance Europe 2016 report focusing on the state of health in Europe. Since 1990, there have been significant increases in life expectancy in all EU member states, due mainly to a marked reduction in mortality from cardiovascular diseases, particularly among people aged 50 to 65. Estonia is the country that has achieved the largest gains since 1990 (7.5 years), followed by the Czech Republic (7.4 years). Lithuania and Bulgaria have achieved smaller gains (around three years), the report says.
In the Slovak Republic, Latvia, Hungary, Estonia and the Czech Republic, 65-year-old men with a high level of education can expect to live more than four years longer than those with a low education level. By contrast, differences in life expectancy by education level are smaller in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland and Denmark) and Italy. These gaps in life expectancy by education level, for both men and women, are driven mainly by higher mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases among elderly with the lowest level of education. Mortality rates from IHD, ischemic heart disease, are highest in Lithuania, Latvia, the Slovak Republic, Hungary and the Czech Republic, with over 350 deaths per 100 000 population. The countries with the lowest IHD mortality rates are France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium.
In 2013, infant mortality rates were the lowest in Slovenia, Cyprus, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, with the rates below 2.5 deaths per 1 000 live births.There are large disparities in self-reported health across different socio-economic groups, as measured by income or educational level. The gap between the two income groups is highest in Estonia, Latvia and the Czech Republic. These disparities may be explained by differences in living and working conditions, as well as differences in lifestyles (e.g. smoking, harmful alcohol drinking, physical inactivity, and obesity problems). In addition, people in the lowest income group may have limited access to certain health services for financial or other reasons.
Trends in child obesity have been increasing in the past few decades worldwide. The average of self-reported overweight rates (including obesity) across EU countries increased between 2001-02 and 2013-14 from 11% to 18% in 15-year-olds. The largest increases during this period were in Bulgaria, Greece and Malta, where the rates now reach between 20% and 30%. There was also a marked increase in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Sweden with the rate now reaching between 15% and 20%.
On average across EU member states, 57% of adults reported eating fruit daily. Women are eating fruit more often than men in all countries, with the largest gender gaps in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, as well as Iceland and Switzerland. In many Mediterranean countries (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Turkey), the gender gap is much smaller.
In terms of physical activity, at age 15, boys in Spain are the most active, followed by Bulgaria, Croatia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland and the Slovak Republic. Girls in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia and the Slovak Republic are the most active. Children in Denmark, France, Greece and Italy were least likely to report exercising regularly.
In the Czech Republic, Latvia, Romania and Spain, there is a gap of over 15 percentage points in the proportion of men doing regular moderate physical activity compared to women. in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, the Slovak Republic, Spain and the United Kingdom, people with a higher level of education undertake physical activity more often than those with lower education.
People in Austria, Slovenia, Malta, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands reported the lowest rates of unmet dental care needs in 2014 (between 1% and 4% only).
Differences in the density of doctors between predominantly urban regions and rural regions are highest in the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic and Greece, driven to a large extent by the strong concentration of doctors in the national capital region. In 2014, the number of doctor consultations per person per year was highest in Hungary, the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic, and lowest in Sweden, Portugal, Finland and Denmark. In the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, there has been a reduction in the number of doctor consultations per capita since 2000, although the number still remains well above the EU average.
In 2014, the average length of stay in hospitals for all causes was the lowest in Denmark, Bulgaria and Sweden. It was highest in Finland, France, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany.
As for the Czech Republic, around 17.7% of the Czech population was aged over 65 in 2015, while fertility rate reached 1.53 children. GDP per capita growth rate in 2014-15 reached 4.4%. Health expenditure per capita (in ppp) in 2015 amounted to 1,850 USD, and annual health expenditure growth rate per capita in real terms was 2.5% in 2014/15, compared with 8.5% in 2008/09. Health expenditure as percentage of GDP reached 7.5% in 2015, compared with 5.7% in 2000.
Click also on the statement by Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis on the occasion of the launch of the "Health at a Glance: Europe 2016" report.
View infographics on hospital spending in the EU member states. The Czech Radio published a map showing standardized mortality and causes of death in Europe (based on Eurostat data 2011-2013). The average inhabitant of the capital citiy of Prague lives longer than inhabitant of the Karlovarsky or Ustecky region, for example. The Czech Republic is a leader in medical treatment of heart disease, but Czechs ignore prevention, thus, despite the high level of care, the mortality rate related to heart disease is high, says Professor Jan Marek, a cardiologist at London’s famous Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Read an interview published earlier by Radio Prague (in English).
At the conference Alcohol and its impacts on the society held in Prague on 20 October 2016, Lars Moller, Programme Manager, Alcohol and Illicit Drugs, Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Life-Course at the World Health Organisation criticized the lack of political will in the Czech Republic to counter the problem of high consumption of alcohol, the Czech News Agency CTK reported. Alcohol consumption in the Czech Republic is third highest in the EU, with 13% of Czechs drinking alcohol on a daily basis. Read more details (in Czech). Also, 22% of Czechs consider themsleves to be smokers and obesity rate is among highest in the EU, according to the October European Health Interview Survey.
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