A new report examining key health indictors across Europe says Europeans are living longer and healthier lives, but lifestyle factors affecting mortality are a cause for concern.
The More than numbers – evidence for all report, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), found that people in Europe are living on average more than one year longer when compared to five years ago. Furthermore, it found Europe is surpassing the target of reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes mellitus and chronic respiratory diseases.
However, the report warned lifestyle factors affecting mortality from these causes remain a major concern. Rates of alcohol consumption and smoking are the highest globally, while trends for overweight and obesity in adults are on an upward curve across most of Europe.
Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe said, while the report shows most European countries have taken significant steps towards hitting key health targets by 2020, progress is uneven “both within and between countries, between sexes, and across generations”. She added: “Lifestyle-related risk factors give cause for concern, as they may slow, or even reverse the great gains in life expectancy if left unchecked.”