Introduction The I2SARE project has developed health profiles for 263 regions in 26 European member states. Information at regional level demonstrates the distinctiveness of regions within countries. The project aims to support the development of health policy and systems at regional, national and European level through comparable health and health service information.
Methods The I2SARE project evolved from the ISARE I–III projects which explored regional boundaries and comparable indicators. In 2008 information for the 37 indicators was collected by project partners in each country. Datasets were subsequently cross validated, indicators calculated and entered into the regional health profiles. Each indicator compares the region with the lowest and highest values for the country and Europe and the European median.
Results The European regional health profiles present information on “demography and socioeconomic conditions”, “mortality”, “morbidity”, “risk factors” and “health professionals and healthcare services”. The profiles showed that the English regions and devolved countries have a very high proportion (18%–29%) of obese adults compared to a median of 14% in Europe. In France perinatal mortality was particularly high while female premature mortality for circulatory diseases was among the lowest in Europe.
Conclusion The European regional health profiles for the first time provide internationally comparable health and health service information on regional level. The information can be used to support regional and national governments and health systems to improve the health of their population and to address inequalities.
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