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The newest European Health report by the World Health Organisation published on 12 September, shows that life we live longer in Europe. The European Health report is published every three years and is monitoring progress against targets under the Health 2020 initiative, set back in 2012. These targets include reducing premature deaths and health inequalities, and increasing life expectancy.

Despite this positive outlook, there are still caveats: Smoking and rising obesity are hindering progress.

Key findings of relevance to EFA:

  • Europeans live on average more than one year longer in comparison to five years ago. However, the countries with the highest life expectancy live 10 years more than the ones with the lowest life expectancy, confirming great differences mainly due to unequal access to healthcare and prevention measures.
  • Premature deaths have fallen since the beginning of the millennium.
  • Premature deaths caused by chronic respiratory diseases among others are falling at a higher rate than expected (by 1.5% annually until 2020).
  • However, smoking and under-vaccination are hindering progress in some countries.
  • Tobacco use in Europe is the highest in the world, with one in three people over 15 who smoke.

The full report can be found here.