British among Western Europe’s unhealthiest despite free health care, study finds

CBS | March 5, 2013

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Despite six decades of free medical care and widespread health campaigns, Britons are among the unhealthiest people in Western Europe, a new study says.

International researchers analyzed the country’s rates of sickness and death from 1990 to 2010 in comparison to those of 15 other Western European countries in addition to Australia, Canada and the U.S. Experts described the U.K. results as “startling” and said Britain was failing to address underlying health risks in its population, including rising rates of high blood pressure, obesity and drug and alcohol abuse.

“It’s incredibly surprising,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, who studies health metrics at the University of Washington in Seattle and is the lead author of the latest report.

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