The recent OECD Health at a Glance report had both good and bad news for the people of Ireland.
We'll give you the good news first, in that it seems that our life expectancy is on the increase faster than anywhere else in Europe, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) anyway.
In general, life expectancy has grown across Europe since 1990, but Ireland has seen the biggest increase with our lives on average lasting 4.4 years longer than they used to, meaning that men live to about 78.7 years, while women get to 83.2 years on average. Perhaps that's thanks to the fact that we're big in to eating our fruit and veg, as we sit third and first in those tables respectively.
We're also pretty satisfied with our own health, as we have the highest levels of satisfaction with the state that we're in, apparently, with 83% of us saying our health is good or very good. Also, in some more very good news, our record on the roads has gotten much better, with mortality rates from traffic accidents falling 60% in the last ten years.
That's pretty much all the good news out of the way, so let's get to the bits where we're not doing so well: obesity, alcohol and cancer.
When it comes to drinking, we take in about 11.6 litres of alcohol a year, making us fifth highest in Europe, while cocaine use among Irish 15-34 year-olds ranks third overall. We also sit third in the table of the most obese nations in Europe, just behind the UK and Hungary who are in first and second respectively.
The cancer rates in Ireland are high, however, with us sitting fourth in Europe for the incidence of all cancers, third for prostate cancer and sixth for breast cancer. When coupled with the news that we are one of only three countries that has actually cut spending on health in the last decade, that does not paint a very pretty picture for the future.
If you want a more detailed breakdown of the facts and figures you can check out the full report from the OECD, or for some handy stats to throw around about Europe in general from this handy infographic.
Via The Irish Times