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    Czechs’ Health Remains Below EU Average Due To Unhealthy Lifestyles – Brno Daily

    A new report from the National Institute for Research on Socioeconomic Impacts of Diseases and Systemic Risks (SYRI) highlights that the health of the Czech population is still significantly below the European Union average.

    The SYRI report showed that Czech health standards are still lagging behind the EU average, even after 20 years of EU membership. For example, life expectancy at birth in the Czech Republic has increased by roughly four years to 79.1 years since joining the EU. However, the gap with the European average remains practically the same, with life expectancy across the EU increasing during the last two decades to 80.7 years. Meanwhile, mortality from preventable and treatable causes in the Czech Republic is a quarter higher than the EU average.

    SYRI explains these results by pointing to the typical unhealthy Czech lifestyle. “Increasing life expectancy in the Czech Republic in the last twenty years is not enough to make up the difference, so we are still lagging behind the EU average,” said researcher Dagmar Dzúrová. “We can look for an explanation of this fact both in the past and in the present. From the mid-1960s, we began to lag behind the European average, and nothing has changed in the last two decades.”

    The main factors are high levels of alcohol consumption, smoking, unhealthy diet, and lack of physical activity. Current data indicates that almost half of all deaths in the Czech Republic in 2019 can be attributed to at least one of these behavioural risk factors.

    Alcohol consumption in particular is one of the most important risk factors, among the highest in the European Union, and obesity rates are also above the EU average. The Czech population therefore has high rates of several chronic diseases, and a higher overall health vulnerability, as shown during the COVID-19 crisis.

    Preventive measures and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle are thus important recommendations suggested by the experts. SYRI researchers say that vaccination, preventive examinations, and screening tests, along with a healthy diet and regular physical activity, are crucial.

    See also

    Despite an overall situation below the EU average, the majority of Czech adults perceive their state of health as good; in a 2022 survey more than two-thirds (68%) of Czechs said they were in good or very good health, which corresponds to the EU average.

    There is, however, a great difference in responses based on individual income and educational groups, which deeply influence lifestyles, especially smoking and levels of physical activity.

    SYRI is a scientific hub that brings together experts from Masaryk University, Charles University, and institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences with the goal of providing data, original analysis, and recommendations regarding social problems, especially those related to unexpected crises like the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, or longer term threats like climate change, inflation and the increase of socio-economic inequalities.

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