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Health at a Glance 2009

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2009
This fifth edition of Health at a Glance provides the latest comparable data on different aspects of the performance of health systems in OECD countries. It provides striking evidence of large variations across countries in the costs, activities and results of health systems. Key indicators provide information on health status, the determinants of health, health care activities and health expenditure and financing in OECD countries.

This edition also contains new chapters on the health workforce and on access to care, an important policy objective in all OECD countries. The chapter on quality of care has been extended to include a set of indicators on the quality of care for chronic conditions.

Each indicator in the book is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability. An annex provides additional information on the demographic and economic context within which health systems operate, as well as a concise description of key characteristics in health system financing and delivery of services in OECD countries.

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Avoidable admissions: diabetes complications

Driven by the rise in obesity rates, diabetes has become one of the most important public health challenges of the 21st century. Over 150 million adults are affected worldwide, with the number expected to double in the next 25 years (King et al., 1998; IDF, 2006). Across OECD countries, prevalence is estimated to be more than 6% of the population aged 20-79 years in 2010 and ranges from less than 5% in Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom to more than 10% in Mexico and the United States, (see Indicator 1.12 “Diabetes prevalence and incidence”). Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in industrialised countries and the most common cause of end-stage renal disease in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Individuals with type II diabetes have a two-to-four times greater risk of cardiovascular disease (Haffner, 2000).

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