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Regional Differences

In Germany, certain marked regional differences exist with respect to life expectancy, the incidence of diseases and health issues, and health-related behaviour. These disparities are no longer limited to differences between the old and new German states. Important factors determining regional differences include, in particular, the demographic structure and the social situation of the population.

Regional differences in health can go hand-in-hand with differences in terms of the need for medical services. They thus represent important starting points for prevention, public health services in the federal states and communities, and requirements planning for inpatient, outpatient and nursing care. This topic therefore has particularly high public health relevance.

Analysis of Regional Differences

In the framework of the health monitoring programme, the Robert Koch Institute regularly collects data on the state of health and health-related behaviour of the population, and also evaluates this data according to region as far as possible.

The evaluations of the RKI also aim to find influencing factors which could contribute to reducing regional differences. In addition, however, process-generated data (for example, data on the cause of death statistics) is used for the analysis of regional differences.

Work on the research topic “Regional differences” takes place in close cooperation with work on the research topic “Social inequality and health”.

Publications

Urban-rural disparities in smoking behaviour in Germany

Völzke H, Neuhauser H, Moebus S, Baumert J, Berger K, Stang A, Ellert U, Werner A, Döring A (2006) BMC Public Health 2006, 6:146 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-146