Health at a Glance: Europe 2020

State of Health in the EU Cycle

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2020

The 2020 edition of Health at a Glance: Europe focuses on the impact of the COVID‑19 crisis. Chapter 1 provides an initial assessment of the resilience of European health systems to the COVID-19 pandemic and their ability to contain and respond to the worst pandemic in the past century. Chapter 2 reviews the huge health and welfare burden of air pollution as another major public health issue in European countries, and highlights the need for sustained efforts to reduce air pollution to mitigate its impact on health and mortality. The five other chapters provide an overview of key indicators of health and health systems across the 27 EU member states, 5 EU candidate countries, 3 European Free Trade Association countries and the United Kingdom. Health at a Glance: Europe is the first step in the State of Health in the EU cycle.


Avoidable hospital admissions

Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF) and diabetes are four widely prevalent long-term conditions. About 30 million children and adults under 45 years of age in Europe have asthma, and 5‑10% of adults over age 40 have COPD (European Respiratory Society, 2020), It is estimated that more than 15 million people are affected by CHF (European Heart Network, 2019). And about 32 million adults have been diagnosed with diabetes in the EU (IDF, 2019). Common to all these four conditions is the fact that the evidence base for effective treatment is well established, and much of it can be delivered in primary care. Primary care is expected to serve as the first point of contact for people in health systems and to provide continuous and coordinated care over time, notably for people having chronic diseases. A well-performing primary care system should therefore reduce acute deterioration in people living with chronic conditions like asthma, COPD, CHF or diabetes, thereby preventing costly avoidable hospital admissions (OECD, 2020).



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