Health in Turkey

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According to the World Health Organisation the health of the Turkish population has improved because of the Health Transformation Program initiated by the government, which has strengthening primary health care services through the use of a family medicine system. There have been investments in infrastructure, equipment, and supplies.

Life expectancy at birth is 75 years. Infant mortality is 11.3 per 1000 live births.[1]

Causes of death[edit]

The most frequent causes of death, in order of frequency, are infectious and parasitic diseases, cancer, heart disease, and cerebrovascular diseases. Since the 1980s, the occurrence of measles, pertussis, typhoid fever, and diphtheria has decreased sharply because of improved availability of potable water. More than 80 percent of one-year-olds received inoculations against childhood diseases in 2004. Between 1980 and 2004, the infant mortality rate decreased by 65%. In 2007 an estimated 3,700 adults in Turkey were infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Reportedly, in the early 2000s sexual activity was the cause of 80-90% HIV cases, and drug abuse was the cause of 7 percent of cases. Some 260 new cases were reported in 2006. Commercial blood donation has been abolished in order to eliminate that cause of HIV transmission.[2] It had the second highest rate of death from communicable diseases in Europe (44 per 100,000) in 2015.[3]


In 2015 it was estimated that 14.71% of the population had diabetes, more than any other country in Europe, costing about $895 per person per year. Diabetes has been described as “one of the top priorities” for the Turkish government.[4]


In 2001–2002, 36.8% of the population was overweight and 23.5% obese. In that same year, 11.4% of boys and 10.3% of girls age 12–17 were overweight. The occurrence of diabetes is higher among women than men.[5] Turkey had the highest rate of obesity in Europe in 2015. 29.3% of the adult population had a body mass index of 30 or more.[6]

Obesity and being overweight is higher among women for several reasons. A majority of women do not have jobs outside of the home and lead more sedentary lifestyles as a result. Housework is often the only source of physical activity for women, as there is no prior tradition of women participating in sports. Individuals living in urban areas are more likely to be overweight or obese because of the availability of public transportation and the sedentary lifestyle. A lack of knowledge about diabetes and the health consequences also contribute to the high percentage of excessive weight.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Country Co-operation Strategy:Turkey" (PDF). World Health Organisation. May 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Turkey country profile. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (August 2008). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ Ballas, Dimitris; Dorling, Danny; Hennig, Benjamin (2017). The Human Atlas of Europe. Bristol: Policy Press. p. 66. ISBN 9781447313540. 
  4. ^ "Top 10: Which country has the highest rates of diabetes in Europe? The UK’s position might surprise you…". Diabetes UK. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Satman, Ilhan; et al. "Population-Based Study of Diabetes and Risk Characteristics in Turkey Results of the Turkish Diabetes Epidemiology Study (TURDEP)". 
  6. ^ Ballas, Dimitris; Dorling, Danny; Hennig, Benjamin (2017). The Human Atlas of Europe. Bristol: Policy Press. p. 66. ISBN 9781447313540.