Optimal Care Would Avert 1 in 3 EU Deaths

     (CN) — The European Union’s statistical agency said Tuesday that one out of three deaths in the 28-nation bloc would be avoidable if optimal health care was available.
     According to Eurostat, 1.7 million people aged less than 75 died in 2013, and of this number, 577,500 deaths (roughly 34 percent of the total) could be considered premature and avoidable in light of current medical knowledge and technology.
     Heart attacks (184,800 deaths) and strokes (almost 94,000 deaths) together accounted for almost half (48 percent) of the total avoidable causes of death identified by the agency.
     Colorectal cancer and breast cancer followed.
     The concept of avoidable mortality is based on the idea that certain deaths (for specific age groups and from specific diseases) could be ‘avoided’ — meaning they would not have occurred at this stage — if there had been timely and effective health care in place.
     Eurostat said the situation was at its worst in Romamia, where 49.4 percent of all deaths were deemed avoidable “in the light of current medical knowledge and technology.” France came out best with only 23.8 percent of deaths considered avoidable.
     The six nations at the bottom of the list all hailed from eastern Europe.
     The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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