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Lifestyle seen as key to health

Lifestyle seen as key to health

A dozen years after its implementation, the National Health Insurance Program leaves ample room to improve in shortening the gap in lifespan between people in the nation's urban and remote areas, health officials said Tuesday.
On the average, Taipei City residents enjoy a life span of 81.21 years, compared with 76.89 years a decade ago, according to a recent study by the National Health Research Institute.
The life span drops by over 10 years among Taitung County residents in eastern Taiwan, many of whom are aborigines, the survey showed, adding that the discrepancy stands at 10.65, about the same as 10.03 of 10 years ago.
Wen Chi-pang, a research fellow at the institute, attributed the gap chiefly to different lifestyles that he noted play an important role in people's health.
"Medical resources contribute only 10 percent to people's heath whereas lifestyle accounts for 60 percent,”Wen said, noting that many Taitung residents smoke, drink and chew betel nuts.
Wen backed up his contention by pointing out that 36 percent of male Taipei residents smoke and the figure rises to 51 percent among their Taitung counterparts. He added that only 5 percent of female residents in the capital city smoke with the number soaring to 15 percent in Taitung.
Also, 33 percent of men and 20 percent of women in Taitung chew betel nuts while only 6 percent and 0.1 percent of their counterparts in Taipei report the same habit, Wen cited the survey as adding.
"The numbers explained why some demographic groups are prone to certain cancers,”Wen said.“They also explained why women generally outlive men.”A sizable number of aborignes suffer lung and oral cancers as well as alcohol-related illnesses.
Wen suggested that health authorities spend more of their energy and resources on disease prevention to make the health insurance program more effective.


Updated : 2021-08-05 20:27 GMT+08:00