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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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Treatment of renal failure (dialysis and kidney transplants)

End-stage renal failure (ESRF) is a condition in which the kidneys are permanently impaired and can no longer function normally. Some of the main risk factors for end-stage renal failure include diabetes and hypertension, two conditions which are generally becoming more prevalent in OECD countries. In the United States, diabetes and hypertension alone accounted for over 60% of the primary diagnoses for all ESRF patients (37% for diabetes and 24% for hypertension) (USRDS, 2008). When patients reach endstage renal failure, they require treatment either in the form of dialysis or through kidney transplants. Treatment in the form of dialysis tends to be more costly and results in a poorer quality of life for patients than a successful kidney transplant, because of the recurrent nature of dialysis.

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