Health and Long-Term Living: Trends and Best Practices in Europe

1. Introduction

Whilst life expectancy at birth is increasing in the European Union (EU), health represents a key area of concern for European citizens. On the one hand, there are remarkable variations of life expectancy trends in the different Member States, which poses a great challenge for policy makers and for health systems to achieve equal health opportunities within all the European countries. On the other hand, the lengthening of life expectancy and the decrease of birth-rate are producing an increasingly ageing population which is normally associated with an increase in disability and chronic diseases and the consequent rise in the cost for health care, long-term care and pensions.
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