“You are as old as you feel”: maybe, but are you as healthy as you feel? If that is the case, most people in OECD countries are doing fine, with US, Canadian and French men topping the feelgood factor list, with more than 90% of them reporting good health.
In fact, according to the OECD’s book, Health at a Glance, men generally feel better than women, except in Finland, Iceland, Ireland and New Zealand (see chart). But there are indications that people’s idea of good health becomes more demanding as healthcare improves.
The levels of both men and women reporting good health have changed little over the past 25 years in Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States, but this may reflect increased expectations for health. And despite the subjective nature of this particular health measure, indicators of self-rated general health have been found to be a good predictor of future healthcare use in several countries.
Health at a Glance, OECD, 2001.
©OECD Observer No 229, November 2001