a DREES report denounces strong social inequalities

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    According to the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics, the inhabitants of the overseas regions and the North of France seem particularly affected.

    Overweight, depression, cancer, alcoholism… In terms of health, the French are not on the same footing. Some do well, while others bear the full brunt of social inequalities from an early age. This is at least what emerges from this vast survey, conducted by the DREES.

    Illnesses: people with low incomes more affected

    While life expectancy continues to grow in France (16% of people aged 75 or over expected in 2052, compared to 9% today), some French people still suffer from many “health” inequalities. In other words, less access to care, more precarious living conditions, later screening…

    These materialize in the form of chronic illnesses, which suffer and affect people with low incomes more frequently.

    Thus, the risk of developing a chronic disease is higher in the most modest people (with the exception of certain cancers), and the 10% of the poorest French people have 2.8 times more risk of developing diabetes – compared to the top 10%.

    Health problems that are concentrated in certain French regions, as evidenced by the study:

    “Life expectancy is lower in the north and east of metropolitan France as well as in the five overseas departments and regions (DROM)”.

    Depression: the Covid-19 has exploded the number of cases

    With regard to mental health, nearly one in ten French people – over the age of 15 – presented with depressive disorders in 2019, with differences of one to two depending on the standard of living.

    In the DROMs, once again, the situation is more critical: at least two out of ten people are affected in Guyana or Mayotte. Thus, the rate of depressive syndromes in 2019 is 12% in Reunion, 15% in Guadeloupe, 17% in Martinique, 20% in Guyana and Mayotte.

    The most affected individuals appear to be “adolescent girls and young womenparticularly affected by the Covid-19 epidemic and the various confinements.

    “The psychological impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the population has been significant, particularly among adolescents and young adults, with depressive syndromes reaching 22% among 15-24 year olds at the end of the first confinement in May. 2020”states the press release.

    Alcohol, a major public health issue

    Faced with the alcoholism problems encountered by the French, the experts from the Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics Department expressed concern. And for good reason: France is the leading European country consuming alcohol.

    “Significant occasional alcohol consumption (API) is increasing: it concerns 27% of women and 50% of men aged 15 or over in 2019 in metropolitan France, compared to 17% and 42% in 2014”

    Obesity: modest people are more supported

    Another “scourge” that rages on French territory: excess weight. Indeed, it concerns nearly 45% of people in France, 14% of whom suffer from obesity.

    These weight problems affect more the inhabitants of the North of France and those of the overseas departments and regions – with the exception of Reunion.

    Also according to the report, the share of obese people seems to drop when the level of education or the standard of living increases.


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