A quarter of EU citizens are being treated for chronic disease

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 20 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:584
  1. Rory Watson
  1. Brussels

One quarter of the European Union's 500 million people are undergoing long term treatment for illnesses ranging from hypertension and arthritis to ulcers and cataracts.

The findings, released last week, are the result of a survey carried out for the European Commission in September and October 2006 into the health of citizens in the 27 EU member states and Croatia.

The commonest long term treatment is for high blood pressure (36% of those being treated), which is particularly prevalent in central and eastern Europe. In Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece it accounts for at least …

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