Mortality in Czechia: Study shows disparate diseases prevail in different regions

Photo: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

How long you live in Czechia may be connected to where you reside. According to a fresh report from news site, people in the one-time Sudetenland can expect to die relatively early – while some diseases are more common in specific regions. I spoke to the article’s author, data journalist Jan Boček, and first asked how the mortality rate in Czechia compares to in the West.

Jan Boček | Photo: Khalil Baalbaki,  Czech Radio

“Three decades after the fall of communism, if you look at the data on life expectancy you can still see a difference between Western countries and Eastern ones.

“And if you look at the data in detail you see that the line that’s dividing those countries follows almost exactly the former Iron Curtain.

“For example, in Southern Bohemia life expectancy is 78 years, while across the border in Bavaria in Germany it’s over 80 years. So it’s still there.”

In Czechia, where are the best places to live if you want to have a long life?

“A long and healthy life. And those places are large cities that combine educated and wealthy populations with a good distance from well-equipped hospitals. So the best places are the largest cities and suburbs of these cities.”

Mortality in Czechia: Circulatory diseases | Photo: Jan Boček,

And you say one of the worst places is the former Sudetenland, mainly in West Bohemia?

“Unfortunately, yes. Western and northern Bohemia. Those districts are Louny, Most, Teplice, Bruntál, Sokolov – names that appear again and again in other analyses, concerning poverty or education problems.”

Also you say that in West Bohemia there’s a relatively high rate of some cancers connected to the radioactive bedrock in that part of the country.

Mortality in Czechia: Neoplasms - the western part of the country has a higher rate of cancers | Photo: Jan Boček,

“Well, what we know is that there is a gap between Bohemia and Moravia concerning neoplasms: the western part of Czechia has a higher rate of cancers.

“There may be more reasons to that, but one of them is the radioactive subsoil which is in western Bohemia. But there may be more reasons, like the lifestyle, especially in northern Bohemia, or the environment.”

At the other end of the country, you say alcohol is a factor in mortality in East Moravia.

Mortality in Czechia: External deaths - Plum Brandy Belt in the east | Photo: Jan Boček,

“I think so. You’ve got a higher mortality rate linked to the digestive system and a higher mortality rate for external deaths, like violent deaths or suicides or tragic accidents – which may be caused by alcohol.

“In the United States you’ve got the Bible Belt, so we decided to name this part of the Czech Republic the Plum Brandy Belt.”

You write in the article also that the structure of mortality in Czechia could show ways to improve the situation. How could the data help in this regard?

Mortality in Czechia: Total deaths men  (up) women  (below) | Photo: Jan Boček,

“The first step to solving these problems is to identify what those problems are. For example, this eastern Plum Brandy Belt is a problem we know about, and this analysis shows clearly that it really exists and it is strong.

“Another region that we know has its problems is the northern or Sudetenland districts. And then you’ve got, for example, the region around Ostrava, where there’s a bad environment, especially air quality.

“So we when we know about the problems it’s the first step to start solving them.”

Author: Ian Willoughby | Source:
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