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Regional comparisons 2014 – Public Health

This report contains an indicatorbased comparison of public health in Sweden. The results indicate that there are both similarities and major differences between municipalities and between county councils in terms of social conditions, living conditions, lifestyle habits and health.

Summary

This report follows up on the indicators presented in Regional Comparisons 2009 Public Health. The report contains an indicatorbased comparison of public health and reflects different perspectives on public health in the form of comparisons of the differences in outcomes between municipalities and between county councils.

The results indicate that there are both similarities and major differences between municipalities and between county councils in terms of social conditions, living conditions, lifestyle habits and health. The intention is that this report will be used as a basis for continuous analyses and systematic improvement by a range of regional and local public health bodies. Regional comparisons are descriptive in nature and contain no analysis or assessment of the possible causes of differences in outcomes.

Over half of the indicators display an improved result at the national level compared with 2009. This year’s report also contains a range of new indi-cators concerning social and living conditions for which the outcomes have not developed so favourably. A higher educational level often entails fewer health risks at work, less financial vulnerability and more influence over one’s own situation. A high educational level increases the chances of finding work and of feeling a sense of social solidarity and participation in society. Health inequalities are often the result of worse social and living conditions.

Some results in brief:

  • The average life expectancy in Sweden continues to increase, for reasons such as the morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases having reduced markedly. However, there are relatively large variations within the country. In addition, the increase in average life expectancy has not been as large for all groups. Women who only have pre-upper-secondary education have shown the least improvement.
  • In the majority of county councils and municipalities, there is a considerable proportion of individuals who feel that their health is good, as in previous measurements, but there are clear differences between groups with different gender or educational backgrounds.
  • The proportion with impaired mental well-being was increasing previ-ously, but this increase appears to have abated in several county councils and municipalities. However, a higher proportion of women than men still report impaired mental well-being and the proportion of younger people with impaired mental well-being has increased in the period 2007–2014.
  • The prescription of soporifics and sedatives varies markedly between different county councils and between municipalities. It is especially high among women with a low educational level.
  • There are large variations around the country in the proportion of pupils who attain the qualifications necessary for upper-secondary school and in the proportion of pupils who complete their upper-secondary education-within four years.
  • Long-term unemployment, measured as the proportion of the total population, has increased in almost all municipalities when compared with 2009 and varies greatly between different municipalities.
  • Individuals’ perceptions of a safe and secure environment have a deci-sive impact on their well-being. In the majority of counties and munici-palities, the proportion who avoided going out alone because they were afraid of being assaulted, robbed or otherwise molested decreased. Considerably higher numbers of women than men avoided going out alone.
  • The population’s lifestyle and living habits vary between municipalities, between county councils and between groups with a low or high educational level. Lifestyle and living habits have improved in several areas, which can also be deduced from the reduction in the incidence of myocardial infarction and lung cancer. Nevertheless, the incidence of obesity has increased in the majority of county councils and municipalities. In summary, the following results can be reported with respect to the population’s lifestyle and living habits:
    - Physical activity has not changed appreciably over the course of the two measurement periods. The results from barely half of the county councils show a small improvement.
    - Daily smoking has decreased in the majority of county councils and municipalities, but is still more common among women, particularly those with a low educational level.
    - Risky use of alcohol has decreased in the majority of county councils, but with large regional and local variations. There is a clearer downward trend among young men, while the development for younger women has not been so positive.
    - For patients in primary care who report that they discussed their lifestyle and living habits during a doctor’s appointment, the outcome is unchanged or somewhat worse than that of the previous measurement period, except for a number of county councils which show a positive development.
  • In the field of sexual and reproductive health, it appears that the development of chlamydia is unchanged between the measurement periods. The number of abortions is decreasing among teenagers, which is a positive trend, but there are large variations between county councils with respect to both abortions and chlamydia.

    The comparisons in the report take into account differences between men and women and between groups with a low, medium or high educational level. In the majority of cases, the situation is worse for those with a low educational level. This is especially true for women with a low educational level, who often have the least favourable development over time in terms of health

 

Read the full Summary

Year: 2015
Article number: 2015-9-2
ISBN: 978-91-7555-336-8
Format: Bok
Pages: 160
Language: Engelska
Price (VAT included): 138 kr