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Health of Europe revealed in new report

Posted on 24 October 2016

Europeans suffer from a wide range of physical and mental health conditions, in part due to their economic and social conditions, a major study co-authored by a York academic reveals.

Across Europe, men consume almost twice as much alcohol as women

The European Social Survey (ESS) analysed attitudes towards physical and mental health in 21 European countries.

The authors found that promoting healthy lifestyles alone does not seem to be a sufficient strategy for reducing health problems, and should be supported by income redistribution policies and improving physical working conditions.

The report revealed:

  • Women more likely to suffer from depression and headaches
  • Men much more likely to smoke and view themselves as overweight
  • UK and Portugal display highest binge drinking rates
  • Across Europe, men consume almost twice as much alcohol as women

‘ESS Topline Results Series issue 6: Social Inequalities in Health and their Determinants’ is based on over 40,000 survey responses gathered across Europe during 2014/15.

Dr Tim Huijts, senior lecturer in sociology at the University of York and an author of the report, said: “The new ESS data have given us a unique opportunity to map health inequalities across Europe.

“The results presented in the report underline that it is important to examine in more depth why health in some countries is so much better than in others.”

Co-author Professor Terje A. Eikemo from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology added: “Although these first results have provided new evidence on the linkages between health and their determinants in European welfare states, we have only scratched the surface of all the opportunities that lie within this new module.

“ I hope these new opportunities will give spark to more collaborative work between the social and medical sciences.”

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