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What health problems bother Europeans the most?

Health of society is always affected by the environment it lives in. Wealthier societies are going to suffer from completely different problems than poorer ones. But what do we know about our health? A new report revealed that Europeans suffer from a wide range of physical and mental health conditions.

Men in Europe are twice as likely to drink as women and binge drinking is a problem in several countries. Image credit: Jakob Montrasio via Wikimedia, CC BY 2.0

Men in Europe are twice as likely to drink as women and binge drinking is a problem in several countries. Image credit: Jakob Montrasio via Wikimedia, CC BY 2.0

21 countries have been included in this study. Scientists wanted to find out the attitudes towards physical and mental health in these states and created the European Social Survey (ESS). Europe has been known as a place where active, healthy lifestyle is promoted very actively, which should mean that general health situation is good. However, scientists say that promoting healthy living is simply not enough – improvements in income redistribution policies and working conditions must be introduced as well.

The study revealed some interesting information. Women in Europe are more likely to depression and headaches than men, but men, on the other hand, more often smoke and view themselves as overweight. Furthermore, men consume twice as much alcohol as women, UK and Portugal having the worst situation regarding binge drinking. This data is based on 40,000 survey responses gathered across Europe during the 2014-2015 period. Scientists say that more than anything this survey helped them to imagine the health inequality map in Europe.

Having this information scientists are not going to stop exploring the topic. They want to see what causes the differences in health situation between countries. Understanding what socio-economic conditions have the biggest effect considering health problems across the continent is another big task. Terje A. Eikemo, co-author of the study, said: “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”.

Scientists are going to continue this research, probably, searching for links between health and other factors. It is important to understand what determines how healthy societies are going to be and present this information to policy makers.

Source: york.ac.uk