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Health status

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Being healthy is one of the most valued aspects of people's lives, and one that affects the probability of having a job, earning an adequate income, and actively participating in a range of valued social activities. People's health status is, however, difficult to measure, as it encompasses a variety of dimensions, such as the length of people's lives, the presence and severity of chronic conditions, and the many aspects of physical morbidity and mental health. This chapter describes people's health status through some well‐established indicators of mortality and morbidity. In most OECD countries, people can expect to live long lives and report good or very good health. However, a large proportion of the population report chronic health conditions, and the number of those who are limited in some way in their daily activities is also significant. Inequalities in health status are also pervasive, with women and older people reporting lower satisfaction with their health status, and with large health disparities across income groups. Comparative information on people's health status remains limited in important ways, and the same applies to our understanding of the interplay of the various factors that determine health outcomes.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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