Low fertility and high life expectancy Among the critical points highlighted, the researchers stressed the fact that the population is aging rapidly: in Italy we have in fact one of the lowest fertility rates in the world (1.3%) and one of the highest hopes of life. These factors are changing the epidemiological landscape of diseases, increasing the burden of chronic aging disorders, from sight and hearing problems to Alzheimer's and other dementias (the years of life with dementia-related disabilities increased by 78% from 1990 to 2017 and deaths from Alzheimer's have more than doubled, + 118%).
Private spending is increasing, but not public The other significant aspect is that from 1990 to the present, private spending by citizens for health has gradually increased, together with a reduction in public health funding. Reduction that, therefore, "is not the result of an increased efficiency of the health service". In particular, the experts said, from 2010 to 2015, state funding in relation to GDP fell from 7% to 6.7%, while private spending on health rose from 1.8% to 2%. Furthermore, the overall health expenditure in relation to GDP since 1995 has increased by 1.15%. However, this increase was not absorbed by public spending, but by private spending.
The causes of death The research also shows that from 1990 to 2017 the death rates for cardiovascular diseases decreased by 54%, those for cancer by 28%, those for road accidents by 62%. However, bad lifestyles still make many victims: in 2017, about 44,400 deaths from cancer were attributed to smoking, 12 thousand to alcohol consumption, 9,500 to overweight and obesity, while as many as 47 thousand deaths from cardiovascular diseases could be attributed to high cholesterol, 28,700 to poor diet of whole grains, 15,900 to poor physical activity.