ISTAT. Italian statistical yearbook 2017. Healthcare, health and medicines

Year after year, the Italian Statistical Yearbook offers a detailed portrait of Italy and its evolution, promoting an integrated reading of the phenomena in progress. With its array of information and metadata, the Yearbook is an important tool for experts, policy makers and citizens to navigate within the offer of data and sources.

Healthcare and Health chapter

In the three-year period 2013-2015 the number of general practitioners decreased slightly (-1.2 per cent) and the number of paediatricians was almost stable (-0.5 per cent). There is an increase in the number of beds in residential care facilities (4.4 per cent more from 2013 to 2015), while hospital beds are decreasing, especially those in the acute care regime. The differences in the hospital offer network between the regions remain: the ordinary beds per thousand inhabitants remain higher in the North than in the South.

Over the past five years, acute hospital discharges have continued to decline, despite an aging population. However, the reduction in hospitalizations proceeds at a decreasing pace (-4.3 per cent between 2012 and 2013 and about -3 per cent in the following years) indicating a progressive stabilization of the phenomenon.

The phenomenon of voluntary abortion continues to decrease: the rate of recourse to voluntary abortion in 2015 remains among the lowest in Europe and equal to 6.4 cases per thousand women aged between 15 and 49 years . In 2014, 598,670 people died in Italy, 66.0 per cent from diseases of the circulatory system and tumours. Between 15 and 29 years, 58 per cent of male deaths occur from causes of a violent nature against the 37 percent of those female. Infant mortality is in further decline and equal to 3.1 per thousand live births, with the highest levels in Calabria, Sicily, Lazio and Puglia.

In 2014, 4,147 people committed suicide, men in more than three out of four cases. In the last two years the trend is still decreasing and the value of rates has returned to the levels of 2009-2010.

In 2016, 70.1 per cent of Italians gave a positive opinion on their state of health, although 39.1 per cent stated that they were suffering from at least one chronic disease.

The eating habits of Italians remain tied to the traditional model: lunch is in most cases the main meal (two thirds of the population aged 3 and over) and 81.7 per cent of the population aged 3 and over does a breakfast that can be described as “adequate”. The share of the population aged 14 and over who declares smoking (19.8 per cent) was stable compared to 2015.

Italians and drugs

According to Istat, 41.4 % of the population used drugs in the two days preceding the interview. These are mostly women (45.6% against 37% for men).

And consumer shares increase with age. For both sexes, half of the population is reached by the age of 55. Up to reaching, over the age of 75, 90.3% among women and 88.9% among men.


ISTAT - Chapter 4 Healthcare and Health

ISTAT – 28 December 2017


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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco