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Health at a Glance: Europe 2014

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2014

This third edition of Health at a Glance: Europe presents a set of key indicators related to health status, determinants of health, health care resources and activities, quality of care, access to care, and health expenditure and financing in 35 European countries, including the 28 European Union member states, four candidate countries and three EFTA countries. The selection of indicators is based largely on the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI) shortlist, a set of indicators that has been developed to guide the reporting of health statistics in the European Union. This is complemented by additional indicators on quality of care, access to care and health expenditure, building on the OECD expertise in these areas.

Compared with the previous edition, this third edition includes a greater number of ECHI indicators, reflecting progress in the availability of comparable data in the areas of non-medical determinants of health and access to care. It also includes a new chapter dedicated to access to care, including selected indicators on financial access, geographic access and timely access.

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Smoking among adults

Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year worldwide, of whom more than 5 million are from direct tobacco use and more than 600 000 are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke (WHO, 2014). 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 is also 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 European countries.

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