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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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Use of illicit drugs among adults

The use of illicit drugs is an important public health issue in Europe. Almost a quarter of adults in the European Union, or over 73 million people, have used illicit drugs at some points in their lives. In most cases, they have used cannabis, but some have also used cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy and other drugs (EMCDDA, 2014). The use of illicit drugs, particularly among people who use them regularly, is associated with higher risks of cardiovascular diseases, mental health problems, accidents, as well as infectious diseases such as HIV when the drug is injected. Illicit drug use is a major cause of mortality among young people in Europe, both directly through overdose and indirectly through drug-related diseases, accidents, violence and suicide. More than 6 000 overdose deaths and 1 700 HIV/AIDS deaths were attributed to drug use in Europe in 2010 (EMCDDA, 2014).

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