Country Listing

Poland Table of Contents


Health Conditions

In the two decades after World War II, the health of Poland's people improved overall, as antibiotics became available and the standard of living rose in most areas. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, alarming trends appeared in certain national health statistics. Between 1970 and 1986, the mortality rate rose from 8.1 to 10.1 persons per 1,000, and from 8.8 to 10.9 males per 1,000. The increase was sharpest among males between the ages of forty-five and fifty-four. For the same period, working days lost because of illness or accidents increased by 45 percent (see table 8, Appendix). Between 1988 and 1991, the incidence of newborns requiring intensive care rose from 2.9 to 4.5 percent. Experts listed the major contributing factors as high levels of air and water pollution, unsatisfactory working conditions, overcrowded housing, psychological depression because of deteriorating economic conditions, poorly balanced diets, alcoholism, and deterioration of health services, especially in prenatal and postnatal care. (see Environmental Conditions and Crises; Housing , this ch.).

Data as of October 1992