Poll finds 4 in 10 Greeks have chronic illness

15 December 2015
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Four in 10 Greeks are suffering from one or more chronic illnesses, according to a new survey which also found that people with lower incomes were more likely to report poorer health.

The telephone-based survey was carried out by GPO on behalf of the National School of Public Health and was presented during the 11th Panhellenic Congress on Management, Economics and Health Policy, held in Athens at the end of last week.

A total of 42 percent of the people interviewed during the survey had been diagnosed with a chronic cardiac, endocrine or pulmonary disease. More than half of the respondents were women, while two in three were overweight. One in five people suffering from a chronic illness said they continued to smoke despite their condition. The rate was one in three among individuals with chronic lung problems.

Despite the high rate of chronic disease recorded in the poll, respondents gave their health an average rating of 74/100.

The score was unsurprisingly lower among people with lower incomes. However, people with no income tended to give their health a relatively high rating. Experts said it was because the zero-income group mostly consists of young people.

The GPO survey also exposed the impact of Greece’s financial crisis on public health and healthcare access.

Forty-four percent of those who took part in the study said that the ongoing crisis was responsible for their suffering from negative emotions such as insecurity, fear, anger, disappointment, sadness or stress.

Meanwhile, one in four admitted that they had not undergone medical checks or sought medical treatment for an existing health problem due to financial reasons.

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