Stefanos Tyrovolas, Evangelos Polychronopoulos, Demosthenes Panagiotakos
Background: Population’s status has started to change and the group of older people arises. This higher portion of older people, leads to an increased number of deaths due to cancer and cardiovascular disease. Limited studies have investigated the effect of health care services on longevity. In this work, findings from studies throughout the world are presented in order to evaluate the effect of nutritional and health services on population’s health status.
Methods: Studies that have assessed the associations of nutritional and other health care services (i.e., physicians supply, etc) on longevity and health status were retrieved (searches in Pubmed, EMBASE, Scopus, up to January 2012), and summarized here.
Results: Few studies, have evaluated the role of health care services on population’s health status. The majority of the studies reported a beneficial association between the frequency of physicians and mortality. Furthermore some other studies reported weak or no associations between physician’s supply and longevity. Also nutritional services in clinical environment seem to benefit clinical outcome, while there is a limited number of studies worldwide investigated the role of nutritional services on population’s health.
Conclusion: Although very few data are available, the areas with strong primary health care and adequate physician’s supplies have better population’s health status. The health care system, have to shift the provided health care services from curative to preventive, and therefore, strong emphasis should be given on health promotion, enhancement of nutritional services and education.
Keywords: Health care systems, nutritional services, physicians, longevity