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Health at a Glance 2011

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2011

This sixth 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.   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.

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Life expectancy at birth

Life expectancy at birth continues to increase remarkably in OECD countries, reflecting sharp reductions in mortality rates at all ages. These gains in longevity can be attributed to a number of factors including rising living standards, improved lifestyle and better education, and greater access to quality health services. Other factors such as better nutrition, sanitation and housing also play a role, particularly in countries with emerging economies (OECD, 2004a).

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