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Medium-term impact of the economic crisis on mortality, health-related behaviours and access to healthcare in Greece

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ABSTRACT

Previous studies on the health consequences of the crisis in Greece investigated short-term impacts on selected outcomes. This study examined the impact of the crisis on a key set of health indicators with longer follow up than previous studies. We conducted interrupted time series (ITS) analysis to compare trends in standardised mortality by cause before and during the crisis. We examined changes in fruit and vegetable consumption, smoking, physical activity, obesity, out-of-pocket payments and unmet needs for healthcare using national household data from the “Hellas Health” surveys. Standardised mortality rates for suicides (p < 0.001) and infant mortality (p = 0.003) increased during the crisis compared to pre-existing trends, while mortality from respiratory diseases (p = 0.053) and transport accidents (p = 0.067) decreased. The prevalence of smoking (42.6% to 36.5%; RR = 0.86) and sedentary lifestyle (43.4% to 29.0%; RR = 0.69) declined. The prevalence of unmet need for healthcare significantly increased from 10.0% to 21.9% (RR = 2.10) and the proportion of people paying out-of-pocket for healthcare from 34.4% to 58.7% (RR = 1.69) between 2010 and 2015. The impact of the economic crisis in Greece on health was more nuanced than previous reports suggest. Effective strategies to mitigate the adverse health impacts of economic crises need to be better understood and implemented.

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Health-related quality of life in Greece, 2008–2015.MCS-12: Mental composite score of SF12; PCS-12: Physical composite score of SF12.
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f3: Health-related quality of life in Greece, 2008–2015.MCS-12: Mental composite score of SF12; PCS-12: Physical composite score of SF12.

Mentions: The prevalence of diagnosed mental health problems did not differ between 2010 and 2015 (6.9% and 6.3% respectively; Risk Ratio [RR] = 0.87; 95%Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.61 to 1.23). However, we found a statistically significant decline in both health-related quality of life composite scores between 2008 and 2015. MCS-12 decreased by 5.2 (95% CI: −6.6 to −3.7) and PCS-12 by 1.8 points (95% CI: −2.7 to −1.0) (Fig. 3).


Medium-term impact of the economic crisis on mortality, health-related behaviours and access to healthcare in Greece
Health-related quality of life in Greece, 2008–2015.MCS-12: Mental composite score of SF12; PCS-12: Physical composite score of SF12.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5385490&req=5

f3: Health-related quality of life in Greece, 2008–2015.MCS-12: Mental composite score of SF12; PCS-12: Physical composite score of SF12.
Mentions: The prevalence of diagnosed mental health problems did not differ between 2010 and 2015 (6.9% and 6.3% respectively; Risk Ratio [RR] = 0.87; 95%Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.61 to 1.23). However, we found a statistically significant decline in both health-related quality of life composite scores between 2008 and 2015. MCS-12 decreased by 5.2 (95% CI: −6.6 to −3.7) and PCS-12 by 1.8 points (95% CI: −2.7 to −1.0) (Fig. 3).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Previous studies on the health consequences of the crisis in Greece investigated short-term impacts on selected outcomes. This study examined the impact of the crisis on a key set of health indicators with longer follow up than previous studies. We conducted interrupted time series (ITS) analysis to compare trends in standardised mortality by cause before and during the crisis. We examined changes in fruit and vegetable consumption, smoking, physical activity, obesity, out-of-pocket payments and unmet needs for healthcare using national household data from the “Hellas Health” surveys. Standardised mortality rates for suicides (p < 0.001) and infant mortality (p = 0.003) increased during the crisis compared to pre-existing trends, while mortality from respiratory diseases (p = 0.053) and transport accidents (p = 0.067) decreased. The prevalence of smoking (42.6% to 36.5%; RR = 0.86) and sedentary lifestyle (43.4% to 29.0%; RR = 0.69) declined. The prevalence of unmet need for healthcare significantly increased from 10.0% to 21.9% (RR = 2.10) and the proportion of people paying out-of-pocket for healthcare from 34.4% to 58.7% (RR = 1.69) between 2010 and 2015. The impact of the economic crisis in Greece on health was more nuanced than previous reports suggest. Effective strategies to mitigate the adverse health impacts of economic crises need to be better understood and implemented.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus