Z znanjem do boljšega zdravja

European health report 2018

12. 09. 2018
On 12 September 2018, the European health report 2018, was launched. This kind of report is published by the WHO Regional Office for Europe every two years.

The publication welcomes an increase in life expectancy and reductions in premature mortality, but warns that smoking, alcohol, overweight and obesity and under-vaccination are hindering progress in some countries. Some European countries enjoy the highest sense of “life satisfaction” recorded anywhere in the world. However, significant discrepancies between countries across numerous key indicators, and the failure to halt or substantially reverse the negative effects of tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight and obesity, and under-vaccination remain causes for real concern.

Key findings

  • In the European Region, people live on average more than one year longer when compared to five years ago. However, there is still over a decade of difference (11.5 years) between countries with the highest and lowest life expectancy.
  • Europeans’ sense of well-being is among the highest in the world, but variations from country to country are pronounced.
  • Good progress has been made in reducing deaths from all causes (all ages) since the beginning of the millennium, with about a 25% reduction in 15 years.
  • Overall, Europe is surpassing the target of reducing premature deaths from the four major noncommunicable diseases – cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes mellitus and chronic respiratory diseases – by 1.5% annually until 2020. The latest data point to a 2% decline per year on average. However, lifestyle factors affecting mortality from these causes remain a major concern, and may slow, or even reverse gains in life expectancy if left unchecked:
    • Tobacco smoking rates are the highest in the world, with one in three people aged 15 and above smoking.
    • ­While alcohol use is declining overall, adult consumption is still the highest in the world. Levels of consumption vary between countries, ranging from 1 to 15 litres per capita every year.
    • Over half of the population is overweight and trends for both overweight and obesity in adults are on an upward curve across most of Europe, with considerable variations between countries.
  • Child vaccination rates are improving in general across Europe, but recent outbreaks of measles and rubella in some countries are jeopardizing the ability of the Region to eliminate these diseases.
  • Deaths from external causes of injury or poisoning have declined steadily by about 12% over five years; yet such deaths were over three times higher among men than women.

The title of this year’s report, “More than numbers – evidence for all”, acknowledges the continuing and important shift away from relying only on statistical data, and towards using other types of evidence that go beyond numbers to capture more subjective experiences, such as the “life satisfaction” measure. European countries are leading the way in promoting this new, holistic and more meaningful way of measuring the impact of policy upon citizens’ health and well-being.

For more information, please see this link (report full text, fact sheets)

Please, disseminate the information further at your discretion.


In case of need of additional information, please, contact WHO Country Office in Slovenia:

Trubarjeva c.2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Tel: +386 1 244 15 85

E-mail: eurowhosvn@who.int