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Press release

The Elderly: health conditions in Italy and in the European Union

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Life expectancy at 65 years in Italy (18.9 years for men and 22.2 for women in 2015) was one year higher than the European Union value. But among elderly aged 75 years and over, health conditions in Italy were worse than in other EU countries.

As regards chronic diseases, in comparison with the European Union, Italy reported better health conditions among younger elderly people aged 65-74 years with lower rates for almost all chronic diseases. On the contrary, elderly people aged 75 years and over had worse health conditions. In Italy about half of the elderly were affected by at least one severe chronic disease or had more than three chronic diseases (comorbidity). Among the elderly aged 80 years and over the estimates were 59.0% and 64.0% respectively.

37.7% of the elderly reported to have suffered from bodily pain, from mild to very strong, in the four weeks before the interview. This value was lower than the EU mean and was very
close to the estimates for Spain.

23.1% of Italian elderly had severe mobility limitations, two points higher than the EU mean value, mainly because of the high percentage of very old women.

Women reported severe chronic pathologies less frequently than men, but more often comorbidity and physical and sensory functional limitations. Women referred bodily pain from mild to very strong more often than men (45.4% vs 27.6%). Among women aged 80 years and over this percentage reached 58.6%, vs 39.2% among men.

In Italy more than one elderly over ten was affected by severe difficulties in personal care activities (known as Activity of daily living, ADL). The Italian percentage of people aged 65-74 years with severe difficulties in personal care activities (ADL) was close to the EU mean, but it was higher among Italian aged 75 years and over, especially for women.

For information
Lidia Gargiulo
Ph. +39 06 4673.7251

Alessandra Burgio
Ph. +39 06 4673.7388

Reference period: Year 2015

Date of Issue: 26 September 2017



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