Spain in good health relative to European Union neighbours

Image of the Nord Stream pipeline gas leak. Credit: Danish Defence

THE Spanish have a good record for health, despite the fact health care expenditure in the country is below the European Union average, a new report reveals.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development ‘Health at a Glance 2019’ study comparing key indicators for population health and health system performance across OECD members shows that not only do the Spanish have the second highest life expectancy in the world, second only to Japan, Spain has less deaths due to preventable causes than other EU-member states and above average rates of cancer survival.

At the same time, average expenditure per person on health in Spain in 2017 was €2,371, 15 per cent below the EU average of €2,884.

The report also revealed however that while the Spanish have a high life expectancy, over-65s do not necessarily have a high quality of life. Many elderly suffer from chronic conditions and disabilities, which increases demand for health care and for carers over the long-term.

One in five elderly in Spain have difficulties with daily activities like washing and dressing themselves and nearly 40 per cent suffer from symptoms of depression, compared with 29 per cent across Europe.

A third of deaths in Spain are caused by avoidable risk factors: 67,000 are due to smoking, 52,000 are related to poor diet, 32,000 to alcohol consumption and 9,500 to a lack of physical activity, the report shows.

A further report finding is that 20 per cent of Spanish adolescents are overweight.

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Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

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