Town folk healthier than city dwellers

14th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

14 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — Residents of the major cities in the Netherlands, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, were less positive about their own health than people elsewhere in the country in the period from 2001 to 2004.

14 March 2006

AMSTERDAM — Residents of the major cities in the Netherlands, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, were less positive about their own health than people elsewhere in the country in the period from 2001 to 2004.

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) published a report on Tuesday that said big-city dwellers tend to have a less healthy lifestyle and more often use health care facilities.

Nearly a quarter of residents of the four big cities in the Randstad conurbation rated their condition in the category less healthy, CBS said. Outside the big cities, people were more positive; less than one fifth of people living elsewhere describe their condition as less healthy.

In the four largest cities in the Netherlands, more people consulted their GP, medical specialist, physiotherapist and an institution for mental health care at least once a year than in the rest of the country. Alternative healers, on the other hand, were not very popular among big-city dwellers. In addition, fewer people living in the four largest cities visited their dentist at least once a year.

CBS found city-dwellers smoked more and took less exercise than people living elsewhere in the Netherlands in the period from 2001 to 2004. There were more smokers among residents of the four big cities than in the rest of the country and fewer big-city dwellers complied with the Dutch standard for healthy exercise.

"Yet, the average big-city resident was not fatter than their fellow countrymen elsewhere. Nor was there any difference in the number of heavy drinkers, i.e. persons who drink at least six glasses of alcohol at least once a week. Teetotallers, on the other hand, are obviously overrepresented in the four largest cities," the report said. 

"Typically, non-western foreigners and people from the lower socio-economic strata are in poorer health, have unhealthier lifestyles and more frequently make use of health care facilities. This demographic and socio-economic pattern with respect to health problems is observed in the four big cities as well as in the rest of the country."

CBS said the vulnerable groups in the four largest cities appear to be hit even harder.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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