About This Project

Recent OECD analysis suggests that health care spending growth has contributed to the improvement in life expectancy, but other determinants such as rising living standards, environmental improvements, lifestyle changes and education are also important drivers.

Further progress in population health status and life expectancy can be achieved by putting greater emphasis on public health and disease prevention especially among disadvantaged groups.


Chronic (non-communicable) diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory conditions and diabetes, are now the main causes of disability and death in OECD countries. Chronic diseases cause around three-quarters of all deaths in OECD countries. Many of these diseases are preventable, since they are linked to modifiable lifestyles.


Overweight and obesity is another important risk factor for many chronic diseases. In 20 of the 34 OECD countries, more than 50% of the adult population is now defined as being overweight or obese.
Source: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

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