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Health at a Glance: Europe 2010

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2010
This special edition of Health at a Glance focuses on health issues across the 27 European Union member states, three European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and Turkey. It gives readers a better understanding of the factors that affect the health of populations and the performance of health systems in these countries.Its 42 indicators present comparable data covering a wide range of topics, including health status, risk factors,  health workforce and health expenditure.

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 indicators and any limitations in data comparability. An annex provides additional information on the demographic and economic context within which health systems operate.   

This publication is the result of collaboration between the OECD and the European Commission, with the help of national data correspondents from the 31 countries.

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Self-Reported Health and Disability

Most European countries conduct regular health surveys which allow respondents to report on different aspects of their health. A commonly-asked question relates to self-perceived health status, of the type: “How is your health in general?”. Despite the subjective nature of this question, indicators of perceived general health have been found to be a good predictor of people’s future health care use and mortality (for instance, see Miilunpalo et al., 1997). For the purpose of international comparisons however, cross-country differences in perceived health status are difficult to interpret because responses may be affected by social and cultural factors.

English

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