NEWS » Dramatic fall in health of Italians?

Dramatic fall in health of Italians?


According to the last “Rapporto Osservatorio salute 2011” the general health of the Italian population has dramatically become worse.

In spite of the population’s heath being quite good because of the Mediterranean diet and the healthy lifestyle, in the last few years Italians have been eating less healthy food, taking more anti depression drugs and spending less money on the prevention of diseases.

The “Rapporto Osservatoriosalute 2011” has been carried out by 175 public health experts distributed throughout the Italian territory, working in universities, public institutions, and private structures.

The picture portrayed by the observatory is not very reassuring. People are stressed, les fit than before and forced by the lack of money to cut on sports and healthy food. Fruit and vegetables, the precious gifts of the “Bel paese” are becoming a luxury for a minority.

The uncertainty of the future has caused also an increase in the consumption of anti depressive drugs. Their use has increased by four times in the last ten years as an effect of the widespread unease caused by social and economical difficulties. For the same reasons suicides also increased together with the deaths related to the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Moreover, Italians are, as “Repubblica online” reported, more and more overweight (in 2010 45.9% of the adult population were overweight, compared to 45.4% in 2009). There is an increasing number of people aged 75 and older, representing 10% of the population, compared with 9.8% of last year's report and there are more people suffering from chronic diseases.

To aggravate the situation, the cuts to the national health service could soon make it inadequate to face the increasing demand of assistance. The latest economic manoeuvres carried out in Italy in response to the financial crisis have, as a matter of fact, led to the reorganization of health care funding levels since 2012, the introduction of additional tickets; and to drastic cuts in transfers to regions and municipalities funds for disability and childcare.

As “Repubblica online” reported, according to Walter Ricciardi, Director of “Istituto di Igiene della Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia” and coordinator of the report, it would be the case to strengthen or at least not cut health policies since the cuts could cause an increase in spending on social and health burden for families with the increased risk of those at risk of poverty (today 7.6 % of them), considering the calculation of over 15.5% of poverty already established.

Giulia Lombardo

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