Baltic countries' mortality rates considerably higher than European average

  • 2016-07-04

Although the number of injury-related deaths in the Baltic countries has dropped remarkably, mortality rates remain significantly higher than in the rest of Europe, according to a newly-published survey of health care in the Baltic States, providing an overview of changes between 2004 and 2014.

Women's average life expectancy in the Baltics is two to four years less than the EU average of 83.6 years. The average life expectancy rates of Lithuanian and Latvian men, respectively 69.2 years and 69.1 years, are the lowest in the European Union, and the Estonian average, 72.4 years, is the sixth-lowest among the EU28.

Healthy life years make up on average 77 per cent of men’s total life spans and 72 per cent of women’s in the Baltic countries, roughly the European average.

Baltics' mortality rates are notably higher than the European average. In Estonia, men’s overall standardised rates were 40 per cent higher and in Latvia and Lithuania, 60 per cent higher than in the EU. The death rates for women were 15 per cent higher in Estonia and 30 per cent higher in Latvia and Lithuania. Diseases of the circulatory system and cancer are the two main causes of death in the Baltics as in the European Union. Injuries rank third in Baltic deaths whereas the third leading cause of deaths in Europe overall are respiratory diseases.

The number of injury-related deaths among men, which notably dropped in the Baltic countries between 2004 and 2014, remains much higher than the European average. It is up to four times higher in Estonia and even seven times higher in Latvia, depending on the age group.

The number of new cases of tuberculosis per capita declined by 50 per cent in Estonia and Lithuania and by one-fourth in Latvia during the period. The number of new HIV cases more than halved in Estonia but rose by a fifth in the other two countries. However, 30 per cent more new HIV cases than in Latvia and four times as many as in Lithuania were registered in Estonia in 2014.