The Status of Health in the European Union report – better known within the EU as the Eugloreh 2007 project – has been launched in Rome.
The result of three years work involving more than 140 experts from across the EU and involving the health authorities of all EU member states plus Croatia, Turkey, Iceland and Norway as well as intergovernmental, international and European organisations and agencies, the report provides a valuable tool for the European Commission, national policy makers and other stakeholders to monitor impacts of main health interventions and policies.
The main findings were:
- life expectancy has increased significantly in the EU in the last decades, although increases in the Eastern European member states are smaller;
- the more effective control of infectious diseases and a fall in deaths from cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases since the 1970’s and of most cancer types (although not lung cancer) in the 1990’s are the main reasons for the increase;
- this increased life expectancy plus increased use of birth control, has resulted in ageing populations in all member states with many elderly on low-incomes;
- many EU citizens spend many years living in poor health. The increase in life expectancy has not resulted in an increase in the life years spent in good health. Women, for example, live about six years longer than men but live in good health only two years more than men.
EMHF Director Erick Savoye said: ‘This report is hugely significant. It is the first time the story of the health of Europe’s citizens has been told at such a high level within the EU which has got to be good news for the health of men in Europe.'
Promised report on men's health in Europe
‘The report shows the importance of gender mainstreaming with male life expectancy rates still six years behind those of women,' Erick continued. 'The report shows the extent of potentially preventable premature mortality in men and highlights that gender differences in health outcomes needs to be taken seriously by policy makers
‘Ignoring these is a cost to the effectiveness of our healthcare systems and, more than that ,a cost to society. DG Sanco (the commissions’s directorate for Health and Consumer Affairs) has indicated its intention to commission the first EU report on status of men’s health in Europe, an initiative we welcome strongly and are impatient to see.’