PHM News – Week 18/3/13

Week Beginning 18th March 2013

The European health report 2012: charting the way to well-being

Full report:


 “…. New WHO report reveals unequal improvements in health in Europe and calls for measurement of well-being as marker of progress…

Copenhagen and London, 13 March 2013 – While the overall level of health across the WHO European Region has clearly improved, European health statistics show inequities within and between countries, according to the European health report 2012. The report is WHO/Europe’s flagship publication, issued every three years.

The report covers the Region’s 53 countries and nearly 900 million people, revealing that people are living longer and healthier lives. Life expectancy is rising across the Region, increasing by 5 years since 1980 to reach 76 years in 2010.

This mainly resulted from decreases in certain causes of death and efforts to address risk factors and socioeconomic conditions. People over 65 years of age are projected to comprise more than 25% of the total population in the Region by 2050. Nevertheless, major inequities in life expectancy are found between men and women, between countries and between population groups. For example, life expectancy for women reached an average of 80 years in 2010, while that for men was 72.5 years. Lifestyle and occupational differences largely explain this gap.

The European health report 2012 also outlines a continued decline in overall mortality, although rates vary considerably across the Region. They are highest in the eastern part of Region and the lowest in western countries. Noncommunicable diseases account for the largest proportion of deaths: some 80%.
Diseases of the circulatory system (
ischaemic heart disease, stroke, etc.) account for nearly 50% of all deaths, followed by cancer, causing some 20% of deaths.

Communicable diseases, while less frequent in Europe than the rest of the world, remain a concern, particularly tuberculosis (TB), HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. AIDS incidence is decreasing, however, reinforcing the importance of effective treatment, and deaths from TB in the Region fell by 30% between 1990 and 2010.

The leading health risk factors for Europeans today include tobacco and harmful alcohol use, with alcohol accounting for an estimated 6.5% of all deaths in the Region, and an estimated 27% of the population aged 15 years and older regularly smoking tobacco.

Other highlights from the report

        •Europe has the lowest child mortality rates in the world (7.9 per 1000 live births), following a 54% reduction in infant mortality between 1990 and 2010, although rates vary strikingly between countries.
•Maternal mortality fell by 50% after 1990, to a mortality ratio of 13.3 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births in 2010.
•Death from transport accidents declined by 50% after 1990, related to a decrease in road traffic accidents, particularly those involving alcohol.
•Suicide rates decreased by 24–40% in all parts of Europe, following an increase in the mid-1990s. The decrease has recently slowed, however, coinciding with the economic downturn since 2008.
•The increase in the proportion of the population living in urban areas reached 70% in 2010 and is expected to exceed 80% by 2045. Urban living exposes people to different health risks and determinants.
•Cancer has replaced cardiovascular diseases as the leading cause of premature death (before the age of 65) in 28 of the 53 countries in the Region.
•Migrants living in Europe are estimated to number 73 million (52% of whom are women) and to account for nearly 8% of the total population. Migrants are usually younger, less affluent and more likely to become ill, and have less access to health services than the general population.

“…….The report stresses that well-being and health are interactive and multidimensional concepts, with some common determinants, such as the health system. Ensuring a good life is not the domain of any one sector or service, but a multidimensional concept with multiple determinants. It requires an approach involving the whole of government and of society….”

“……WHO/Europe has developed a roadmap to devise a new approach to measuring well-being that includes a collaborative agenda to collect, analyse and make use of health data Region-wide, along with a research agenda that improves the use of information to support policy-making to improve health and well-being….”

Executive summary
Chapter 1. Where we are: health status in Europe and the case for Health 2020
Chapter 2. What we are aiming for: European targets for health and well-being
Chapter 3. How we are getting there and what we value: the case for measuring well-being
Chapter 4. Next steps in the countdown to 2020: marking progress
Annex 1. Technical notes for the demographic and epidemiological profile -Data sources, methods and references


United Nations Development Programme

“Rise of South” transforming global power balance, says 2013 Human Development Report

Massive poverty reduction, middle-class expansion from major development gains in Africa, Asia, Latin America

Mexico City, 14 March 2013— The rise of the South is radically reshaping the world of the 21st century, with developing nations driving economic growth, lifting hundreds of millions of people from poverty, and propelling billions more into a new global middle class, says the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) 2013 Human Development Report.

“The rise of the South is unprecedented in its speed and scale,” the 2013 Report says. “Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast.”

This phenomenon goes well beyond the so-called BRICs, middle income countries often represented by Brazil, Russia, India and China, the 2013 Report stresses. The Report shows that more than 40 developing countries have made greater human development gains in recent decades than would have been predicted. These achievements, it says, are largely attributable to sustained investment in education, health care and social programmes, and open engagement with an increasingly interconnected world.

Read more and Download the Report

ABOUT THIS REPORT: The Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme. For free downloads of the 2013 Report in ten languages, plus materials on the Report’s indices and regional implications, please visit:

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