The Czech Republic is below the European Union average for the number of years someone lives in a healthy condition. The information was published by EU statistical arm Eurostat to mark World Health Day, which is April 7. It has gained particular importance this year due to the current health crisis.
The number of years a person is expected to continue to live in a healthy condition in the EU was estimated to be 64.2 years for women and 63.7 years for men, based on 2018 data.
In the Czech Republic, women on average have 63.4 years of healthy life while men have 62.2 years. The gender gap is 1.2 years.
Healthy life years, also called disability-free life expectancy, is defined as the number of years that a person is expected to continue to live in a healthy condition. A healthy condition is defined as one without limitation in functioning and without disability.
These figures are different than life expectancy, which charts the time between birth and death regardless of health condition.
Life expectancy in the EU for women, at 83.7 years, was, on average, 5.5 years longer than that for men, at 78.2 years, in 2018. Healthy life years represent approximately 77% and 81% of the total life expectancy for women and men respectively.
In the Czech Republic, life expectancy for women was 82.0 years and for men 76.2 years. So for Czech women, 78.1% of their lives on average are healthy, while for men it is 81.2%
Among the EU member states, Malta recorded the highest number of healthy life years in 2018 for women, at 73.4 years, followed by Sweden, at 72.0 years, and Ireland, at 70.4 years, while the highest numbers for men were also recorded in Sweden, at 73.7 years, Malta, at 71.9 years, and Ireland, at 68.4 years.
In contrast, Latvia had the lowest number of healthy life years for women, at 53.7 years, and men, at 51.0 years. The results can be affected by the way in which activity limitation is measured in each country.
The number of healthy life years at birth was higher for women than for men in 19 of the EU Member States, with the difference between the sexes generally relatively small. In 5 EU member states the gap was more than two years: Poland (+3.8 years), Bulgaria (+3.6 years), Lithuania (+2.8 years), Latvia (+2.7 years) and Estonia (+2.3 years).
At the opposite end of scale, in seven EU member states the number of healthy life years for women was lower than for men. The largest differences were observed in the Netherlands (-3.9 years), Denmark (-3.4 years) and Finland (- 3.1 years).
These statistical averages exclude the United Kingdom, which left the EU on January 31, 2020.