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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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Inequalities in dentist consultations

Dental caries, periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss are common problems in OECD countries, variously affecting almost all adults and 60-90% of school children (see Indicator 1.10 “Dental health among children”). Despite great improvements problems persist, occurring most commonly among disadvantaged and low income groups. In the United States for example, almost 50% of low income persons aged 20-64 years had untreated dental caries in 2001-04, compared with only 20% of high income persons (NCHS, 2009). In Finland, onequarter of adults with lower education were found to have six or more missing teeth, while less than 10% of those with higher education had the same amount of tooth loss (Kaikkonen, 2007).

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Graphs

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