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Europeans live longer, but not in the best of health - new report


brussels bureau

Europeans live longer, but not in the best of health - new report

Europeans are now more likely to live into their 80s, but they may not be in the best of health.

A new report from the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) says the overall average life expectancy has gone up by more than six years since 1990, to 80.9 years in 2014.

For men, the average is now 78.1 and for women it is 83.6.

“The increase in life expectancy is to be celebrated, of course, but differences remain both across and within countries; people in Western European countries live on average five years longer than those in central and eastern Europe,” explained Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary-General.

“Within countries the most educated live around seven years longer than those with the lowest level of education.”

The report says alcohol, smoking and obesity are having a big impact.

Around 50 million people are suffering from chronic conditions – and more than half a million people of working age die every year from potentially avoidable diseases.

The report calls for more of a focus on health promotion and prevention strategies and better quality care.

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