NEWS » Life expectancy for Italians falls

Life expectancy for Italians falls

According to the report on the health of Italian people “Osservasalute 2015”

Italy has an increasingly ageing population but life expectation dropped for the first time to 80.1 years for men and 84,7 for women. In 2014 life expectation was 80.3 for men and 85 for women. It is just a small change but significant because for the first time it represents a negative trend.


A possible reason for this is probably the fact that Italy has destined only   

4,1 percent of its health expenditure for prevention and screening, and this places Italy in one of the last places in Europe for prevention. Another problem is that free screenings and check-ups are available only in some regions.  


People living in Campania and Sicily have a life expectation of four years less than in Marche and Trentino. 


The report showed that there was an increase of preventable cancer such as breast cancer and lung cancer for women and colon for men. Though, what really stands out is the inequality between the north and the south of the country. The south has a lower life expectation and receives less health funding than the north.


The public health expenditure in Italy is one of the lowest in Europe. The highest expenditure per person is 2,226 Euros in the Molise region and the lowest is in Camapnia 1,689.


The numbers of overweight and obese continue to grow in the home of the Mediterranean diet. In the period 2001-2014 overweight people increased from 33.9 to 36.2 percent, obese from 8.5 to 10.2 percent. This means that in 2014 as many as 46.4 percent of the population did not keep their ideal weight. The people of the north are much slimmer than those of the south even though date shows that excess weight is becoming a problem also in the north, and the problem increases with age. In 2014, 30.7 percent of children aged 8-9 years were overweight. This number is slightly decreased compared to previous years (it was 35.2%). The more parents are educated the less children become fat, while in families with an obese parent, the prevalence of overweight children is greater.


Moreover, according to the report by “Osservasalute”, which keeps track of the eating behaviour of Italians, reveals that they are far from eating the recommended quantities of fruit and vegetables per day.   

Giulia Lombardo

»Back to: NEWS