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The semi-continental Danish lifestyle is the least healthy in the Nordics. And this shows in the country's life expectancy, concludes 2017 report "Intoxicants in Norway 2016", which surveyed Nordic health habits with a focus on drinking and smoking. Researchers from all the Nordic countries conducted the study.


Denmark stands out from the study as the Nordics' least healthy nation. One in five Danish adults (21%) are regular smokers, and the average Dane drinks alcohol 2.5 times per week.


As a result, Danish women have the shortest life expectancy (82.5) in the Nordics, and in Western Europe as a whole (WHO, 2015).


Danish men have the second shortest lives (78.6) among Nordic men, after Finns (78.3).


Source: Business Insider Nordic


The Danish population is living longer than a decade ago, but not all of these additional years are spent in good health. The Danish health system generally provides good access to high-quality care, with comparatively low levels of unmet need for medical care. Challenges remain to tackle essential risk factors for health, such as excessive alcohol consumption and rising obesity rates. 

Estimates show that around 3,000 deaths in Denmark each year can be related to alcohol, either as the primary or contributory cause of death. This corresponds to 6% of all deaths. Two out of three alcohol-related deaths occur among men.

People with a lower level of education are more likely to develop alcohol-related diseases. There is great social inequality in Denmark when it comes to diseases and deaths caused by heavy alcohol consumption.


A key objective of the Danish 2014 ‘Healthier life for all’ prevention policy framework is to cut the number of people who engage in harmful alcohol consumption by a third. The government financially supports two partnerships to help with achieving this target.


The ‘Partnership for a responsible alcohol culture’ involves industry stakeholders (beverage companies, hotels, restaurants, the Danish Chamber of Commerce and the Danish Merchants Association) and focuses on compliance with age limits on the sale of alcohol and on initiatives to change the alcohol culture in bars. The ‘Partnership for youth and alcohol’ involves municipalities and civil society organisations, with the aim to reduce underage drinking by initiating local activities for young people in collaboration with local authorities and civil society (OECD, 2015).


Source: State of Health in the EU. Denmark. Country Health Profile 2017

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