Health inequalities in Italy

Health inequalities in Italy

A recent survey by the National Health Observatory in the Italian regions highlights the health inequalities in Italy; the results are sobering.

Health inequalities in Italy

The problem of health inequalities has been extensively studied, especially to understand its root causes.

Overall , the results of all research carried out in this regard lead to two types of causes: environmental and individual.

Beyond the causes, what are the results of the latest survey by the National Health Observatory in the Italian regions ?

Life expectancy at the regional level

The indicators on inequalities highlight the existence of a strong territorial gap , for example, taking a look at the 2017 data, it is noted that in Campania men live on average 78.9 years and women 83.3 while in the autonomous province of Trento men have an average survival of 81.6 years and women 86.3.

In general, the longest survival is recorded in the North-East regions where there is an average life expectancy of 81.2 years for men and 85.6 years for women; in the South, on the other hand, the average life expectancy drops to 79.8 years for men and 84.1 years for women.

Looking at survival data between 2005 and 2016, gaps between regions are persistent .

The regions with a life expectancy below the national average are Sardinia, Molise, Basilicata, Valle d’Aosta, Piedmont, Campania, Calabria and Sicily and, in the last three regions listed, the situation has shown a worsening trend in recent years .

On the other hand, Apulia, Abruzzo and almost all the northern regions recorded a life expectancy above the national average .

The least long-lived provinces are those of Caserta and Naples , while the longest-lived is Florence , followed by Monza and Treviso .

Read also  Preventing a heart attack in 4 steps  >>

The influence of social differences

Another interesting fact concerns the social survival gaps ; in Italy the average survival of a man with a low level of education is 77 years, while it rises to 82 years in those with at least a degree.

There is therefore a different life expectancy of five years; in women the gap drops to three years, but is still high; in women with a lower level of education, the average life expectancy is 83 years, while it rises to 86 years in women with degrees.

Chronic diseases are also more common in people with a lower level of education ; for example, in the age group between 25 and 44 years, the prevalence of people with at least one serious chronic disease is equal to 5.8% in the case of low educational level and drops to 3.2% among graduates.

This gap increases with increasing age; in fact, if we consider the age group between 45 and 64, the percentage of people with chronic pathology is 23.2% in those with a very low level of education and 11.5% among graduates .

Cultural factors greatly influence lifestyle and, consequently, affect health . Economic differences also play an important role.

Think of obesity , one of the most important cardiovascular risk factors and more: it concerns 14.5% of people with a low level of education and does not exceed 6% of graduates; it affects 12.5% ​​of the poorest segment of the population and 9% of the richest.

An interesting fact is that which evaluates obesity in children on the basis of the mother’s level of education ; in minors between the ages of 6 and 17 there was 30% obesity if the mother had only attended compulsory school and it dropped to 20% in the case of mothers who were graduates (2014-2015 data).

The data just presented make us think. If, however, they are compared with those of other European countries, it will be noticed that, all in all, we are not in such bad shape.

Italy is, in fact, the country with the lowest level of inequality, after Sweden. Of course, this does not exempt Italy from the search for social policies aimed at increasingly reducing these gaps, however, all in all, our health model represents a good basis from which to start.


You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours