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IP/10/1674

Bruxelles, le 7 décembre 2010

Santé: l’alimentation est considérée comme un enjeu croissant, notamment dans l’Union européenne

Selon le rapport intitulé Health at a Glance: Europe 2010, publié aujourd’hui par la Commission européenne et l’OCDE, plus de la moitié de la population adulte de l’Union est désormais en surcharge pondérale ou obèse. Dans la plupart des États membres de l’Union, le taux d’obésité a plus que doublé au cours des vingt dernières années, ce qui a des répercussions considérables sur la santé, les systèmes de santé et l’économie en général. Telle est l’une des nombreuses conclusions d’un rapport qui fournit un éclairage utile sur l’état de santé actuel de la population de l’Union.

M. John Dalli, commissaire européen à la santé et à la politique des consommateurs, s’est réjoui de la publication de ce rapport: «Afin d'inverser la tendance à la hausse observée pour l’obésité ou d’autres problèmes de santé dans l’Union européenne, les décideurs ont besoin de données fiables et actuelles étayant leur action. C’est pourquoi le rapport Health at a glance est tellement important et constituera un outil précieux dans les mois et les années à venir.»

Le rapport montre que la prévalence de l’obésité varie de moins de 10 % en Roumanie et en Italie à plus de 20 % au Royaume-Uni, en Irlande et à Malte. En moyenne, la proportion de personnes obèses dans la population adulte européenne est légèrement supérieure à 15 %.

Les habitudes saines s’acquièrent dès le plus jeune âge. Les enfants obèses ou en surcharge pondérale risquent davantage de souffrir de problèmes de santé à l’âge adulte et sont plus susceptibles d'être atteints de maladies cardiaques, de diabète, de certaines formes de cancer, d'arthrite et d'asthme; leur qualité de vie risque d'en pâtir et ils sont même plus exposés à un décès prématuré. Actuellement, dans l’Union européenne, un enfant sur sept est en surcharge pondérale ou obèse, une proportion qui devrait par ailleurs encore augmenter.

Les 8 et 9 décembre, lors d’une conférence de haut niveau sur l’alimentation, la surcharge pondérale et l’obésité, organisée conjointement à Bruxelles par la présidence belge de l’Union européenne et la Commission européenne, les États membres examineront les moyens d’inverser ensemble, à l'échelon européen, cette tendance préoccupante.

Autres conclusions clés du rapport

  • L’espérance de vie à la naissance dans l’Union est passée de 72 ans en 1980 à 78 ans en 2007.

  • Les maladies cardiaques provoquent de moins en moins de décès, mais demeurent la première cause de mortalité dans l’Union: elles étaient à l’origine de 40 % des décès observés en Europe en 2008.

  • Il existe une corrélation importante entre la prévalence de la démence et le vieillissement de la population; or, pour la période 1995 – 2050, on s’attend à un doublement du nombre de personnes âgées de plus de 65 ans.

  • La pénurie de médecins est préoccupante dans de nombreux pays européens.

  • Les dépenses de santé augmentent dans tous les États membres de l’Union européenne, parfois plus rapidement que la croissance économique. En moyenne, les États membres de l’Union ont consacré aux dépenses de santé 8,3 % de leur PIB en 2008, contre 7,3 % en 1998.

Contexte

Le rapport Health at a Glance: Europe 2010 publié conjointement par la Commission européenne et l’OCDE regroupe des données de l’OCDE, d’Eurostat et de l’OMS.

Il présente les grandes tendances de l’évolution de l’état de santé et des systèmes et dépenses de santé dans les 27 États membres de l’Union, dans les trois pays de l’Association européenne de libre échange (Islande, Norvège et Suisse) et en Turquie.

Ce rapport peut être consulté sur les sites Web suivants: http://ec.europa.eu/health/reports/european/index_fr.htm

www.oecd.org/health/healthataglance/europe

Informations sur la conférence de l’Union européenne consacrée à l’alimentation, la surcharge pondérale et l’obésité:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/nutrition_physical_activity/events/index_en.htm

http://www.health.belgium.be/eportal/Aboutus/eutrio/health/Evaluation_Nutrition_Policies./index.htm?fodnlang=fr

Annexe - Key findings of the Report

  • Life expectancy at birth in the EU increased by 6 years from 1980 to 2007 (from an average of 72 years in 1980 to 78 years in 2007).

  • Women spend on average 75% of their life without disabilities; while for men it is 80%.

  • The number of premature deaths has also reduced dramatically. Mortality rates in Estonia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have fallen by over 30%, a decline that is greater than the EU average. Ireland has seen a fall in mortality rates of over 50%.

Causes of death

  • There has been a fall in deaths from heart disease, still the biggest cause of death in the EU, accounting for 40% of all deaths in Europe in 2008. There has been a notable decline in cases in the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Slovenia and Estonia. A number of factors are responsible for this decline, namely less tobacco consumption, and less heavy drinking in some countries.

  • The second leading cause of death in the EU is cancer, which accounted for 26% of deaths in 2008. The highest number of deaths was reported in Denmark and in Hungary, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Slovenia. The lowest number of deaths was reported in Cyprus, Finland and Sweden.

  • More men tend to die of cancer than women in the EU – particularly from lung cancer. In 2008, death rates from lung cancer among men were the highest in central and eastern European countries, where more men tend to smoke.

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the EU. It accounted for 31% of cancer incidence (new cases) among women, and 17% of deaths in 2008. Although incidence of breast cancer has risen over the past decade, the number of deaths has declined or remained stable.

  • Between 2000 and 2008, the rate of newly-diagnosed cases of HIV more than doubled. HIV prevalence estimates were highest in those countries with high AIDS incidence rates, namely Estonia, Latvia, Portugal and Spain.

  • There is a strong link between the prevalence of dementia and the ageing of the population. The number of people aged 65 or over is expected to double between 1995 and 2050, to reach 135 million. Therefore the number of people with dementia will also rise. Healthcare costs associated with dementia are expected to rise to over €250 billion in the EU by 2030.

  • Improvements in road security have resulted in over 40% fewer deaths in the EU due to transport accidents since 1994.

Smoking and alcohol consumption

  • Smoking is still significant amongst the younger population.

  • In many Member States 20% or more of 15 year-olds smoke

  • Generally, girls smoke more than boys, but boys get drunk more than girls. Between 13 and 15 years of age, the prevalence of smoking and drunkenness doubles in many EU Member States.

  • Almost half (40%) of all 15 year olds have been drunk at least once in Denmark, Lithuania, the UK, Finland, Bulgaria and Estonia.

  • Less than 18% of adults in Sweden smoke daily, but almost 40% of adults in Greece continue to smoke.

Rise in obesity and overweight

  • Over half the EU adult population (50.1%) is now overweight or obese. Prevalence of obesity alone ranges from less than 10% in Romania and Italy to over 20% in the UK, Ireland and Malta. On average, just over 15% of the EU adult population is obese. The rate of obesity has more than doubled over the past 20 years in most EU countries (for which data is available).

  • This has considerable implications for costs for healthcare. According to a recent study in England, total costs linked to overweight and obesity could increase by as much as 70% between 2007 and 2015. (Foresight, 2007)

  • Only 1 in 5 children in the EU exercised regularly according to a 2005-2006 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey. Physical activity tends to fall between the ages of 11 and 15 in most EU Member States.

Shortage in health workforce

  • The shortage of doctors is a cause for concern in many European countries.

  • Since 2000, there has been no growth in the number of doctors per capita in France and Italy.

  • In contrast, there has been a rapid increase in the number of doctors per capita in the UK, where it rose by 30% between 2000-2008, rising from 2.0 per 1000 population to 2.6. In Ireland, it rose by around 50%. This is largely due to the increase in recruitment of foreign-trained doctors, with the share of foreign-trained doctors tripled during that period.

Record growth in health spending

  • Health spending has risen in all European countries, often increasing at a faster rate than economic growth, resulting in a rising share of GDP allocated to health.

  • In 2008, EU Member States spent, on average, 8.3% of their GDP on health, up from 7.3% in 1998. The USA spends 16% of its GDP on health.

  • Spending on health varies greatly between EU Member States, ranging from less than 6% in Cyprus and Romania to over 10% in France, Germany and Austria.

  • There were major increases in GDP expenditure on health in 2007 and 2008 in some Member States: in Ireland from 7.5% in 2007 to 8.7% in 2008; in Spain, from 8.4% to 9.0%.

  • Health systems are sometimes criticised for being overly focused on "sick care": for treating the ill, but not doing enough to prevent illness. Only around 3% of health spending is devoted to prevention and public health programmes.

  • The public sector is the main source of health financing in all European countries, except Cyprus. On average, nearly three-quarters of all health spending was publicly financed in 2008. In Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, the Nordic countries (except Finland), the UK and Romania, public financing accounted for over 80% of all health spending.

"Health at a Glance: Europe 2010" report

  • The "Health at a Glance: Europe 2010" report is jointly published by the European Commission and the OECD. It compiles data from the OECD, Eurostat and the WHO.

  • The European Commission and OECD are working jointly on a number of health-related projects such as the “Health Care Quality Indicators” project (www.oecd.org/health/hcqi) and the “Economics of prevention” project (www.oecd.org/health/prevention).

  • The report presents key trends on health, health systems and health spending in the 27 EU Member States, plus the 3 European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and Turkey.

  • There is no better or worse health system; each system has strengths and weaknesses. The aim of providing comparable data is to give countries the possibility to learn from each other, to gain efficiency and to improve the health of their populations.

To know more

Electronic version of the report:

http://ec.europa.eu/health/reports/european/

www.oecd.org/health/healthataglance/europe

European Commission health indicators (HEIDI data tool – data are not necessarily those presented in the report, given the specific needs of it):

http://ec.europa.eu/health/indicators/indicators/index_en.htm


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