Italians upbeat about health in 2014

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Apart from the Swedes, Italians have the highest life expectancy of any European country. Health photo: Shutterstock
17:04 CET+01:00
Italians are feeling upbeat about their health and can expect to live a long life despite their economic worries, according to the latest government statistics released on Tuesday.

Seventy percent of Italians said they felt positive about their health and well-being this year, even though more than a third (38.9 percent) said they suffered from a chronic health condition, according to the 2014 yearbook released by statistics agency Istat. The figure is down slightly from the 70.4 percent recorded in 2013.

Apart from the Swedes, Italians have the highest life expectancy of any European country. Italian men can expect to live to 79.8 years while Italian women are expected to live until age 84.6.

They are also smoking less - with the number of smokers falling 1.9 percent to 19.5 percent in 2014. Nevertheless, one third of young people (33.5 percent) aged between 25 and 34 still call themselves regular smokers.

Of the 38.9 percent of Italians who reported chronic illnesses, 17.4 percent said they suffered from high blood pressure. Sixteen percent had arthritis while allergies affected 10.3 percent of the population.

They were also concerned about the impact of traffic and pollution on family life. More than a third of Italians (36.9 percent) said they lived in areas full of traffic and 34.4 percent complained about pollution.

The report showed that Italians still relish the tradition of dining at home. Nearly three-quarters of the population (73.6 percent) said they dined at home and 67.8 percent prefer to make lunch their biggest meal of the day.

The rate of divorces and separations were also down in Istat figures that noted 2012 figures. Legal separations fell from 88,797 in 2011 to 88,288 in 2012, while divorces dropped from 53,806 to 51,319 in 2012.

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