Live for life


Presentation by Valerio Gennaro, a doctor and an epidemiologist

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"Good day to you all. My name is Valerio Gennaro, and I’m a medical doctor doing research in epidemiology. I work in a cancer research facility in Genoa and I’m also the contact person for “Medici per l’Ambiente” {Doctors for the Environment} and for “Medicina Democratica” {Democratic Medicine}.
I’d like to thank Grillo’s Blog for this opportunity to update you on the situation following on from the figures we presented to you about eighteen months ago. The Eurostat figures on the health of the people of Italy. If you remember what we said in December 2011, unfortunately the situation is confirmed and Italy has seen a reduction in the period of a healthy life for the population as a whole. In this graph, you can see the values for the female population. It’s an estimate of the number of healthy years of life that a baby girl can expect to have. The values are given for babies born in 2004 to 2011. Figures for Italy can be compared across time and across countries. In Italy a baby girl born in 2004 could expect to have 71 years of life before starting to have disabilities. Since then, there have been ups and downs but after a sharp drop in the years 2005, 2006 and 2007, when this value fell to 62 years, this is the value still seen today. Thus there has been a fall of 8 years of healthy life. Thus this means that the onset of illness and disability, has been brought forward for the female population of Italy. There’s a reduction in the number of years of healthy life. Why do I believe that it’s important to talk about this? Because people are always talking about the issue of the overall length of life, that is of the average age at death, and that is clearly a positive figure. We are among the best in Europe. However, what is not taken into consideration is this fall in the number of years of healthy life. We could ponder on why this happens and above all why this is not considered.
The situation in Italy is not as good as some people would have us believe. And what’s more, if we keep on avoiding discussing, presenting and evaluating these figures, we will never be able to seriously decide to look for solutions, that could be to be found in economic, social and other spheres.
These figures have not been published since 2003, that is for 10 years. But these are figures about what is happening to the population. Figures about serious health problems are not discussed, not revealed, kept under the cloak of individual privacy, but this is a fact about the whole population that concerns everyone. There’s a really serious issue with the use of antidepressants: there’s been an increase from 7 or 8 packets a day per thousand inhabitants to 36 packets a day. This is a shocking figure. This is a momentous change. This is a change in the health system and in the balance that each individual has. What’s needed is a massive epidemiological effort to have a look at the causes of this situation. What’s needed is an explanation in opposition to the one normally given. The crisis produces illness. But here in fact we are faced with an illness that had already become aware of the crisis.


I am fairly optimistic. I think that if we don’t hide this away, in just a few months we can diagnose the cause and we can act immediately within the space of a few years at the most, and we can reverse this trend and give a new start to the quality of life in Italy." Valerio Gennaro

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:49 PM in | Comments (1) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen |
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In one word we are poor, but we already knew it.

Posted by: Paolo | May 5, 2013 09:58 PM

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