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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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Tobacco consumption among adults

Tobacco is responsible for about one-in-ten adult deaths worldwide, equating to about 6 million deaths each year (Shafey et al., 2009). It is a major risk factor for at least two of the leading causes of premature mortality – circulatory disease and cancer, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic cancer. Smoking also causes peripheral vascular disease and hypertension. In addition, it is an important contributory factor for respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), while smoking among pregnant women can lead to low birth weight and illnesses among infants. It remains the largest avoidable risk to health in OECD countries.

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