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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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Influenza vaccination for elderly people

Influenza is a common infectious disease worldwide and affects persons of all ages. For example, on average, between 5% and 20% of the population in the United States contracts influenza each year (CDC, 2009b). Most people with the illness recover quickly, but elderly people and those with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for complications and even death. Between 1979 and 2001, on average, influenza accounted for more than 200 000 hospitalisations and 36 000 deaths per year in the United States (CDC, 2009b). The impact of influenza on the employed population is substantial, even though most influenza morbidity and mortality occurs among the elderly and those with chronic conditions (Keech et al., 1998). In Europe, influenza accounts for around 10% of sickness absence from work, while the cost of lost productivity in France and Germany has been estimated to be in the range of USD 9.3 billion to 14.1 billion per year (Szucs, 2004).

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Graphs

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