Cyprus’s Health Profile for 2021 indicates that overall, the Cypriot population is among the healthiest in the EU. As of August 2021, the impact of COVID-19 on mortality and life expectancy had been limited. The population enjoys good health outcomes, despite the prevalence of risk factors such as smoking and obesity. Since 2019, health system reforms to introduce universal coverage and improve overall efficiency have been implemented, despite the ongoing pandemic, and changes to health care financing mechanisms have facilitated surge capacity. As well as improving coverage and resilience, the new General Healthcare System is expected to improve accessibility by cutting waiting times.
As in several other EU countries, gains in life expectancy in Cyprus slowed over the past decade. Notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, life expectancy in 2020 remained stable at 82.3 years. The leading causes of death are circulatory diseases, cancer and diabetes. While the number of people dying from circulatory diseases has consistently fallen since 2015, the cancer mortality rate has remained stable.
Smoking rates in Cyprus are among the highest in the EU and constitute a major public health issue. Although adult obesity rates are close to the EU average, childhood obesity is increasingly common. Alcohol consumption is less of a concern, but all the risk factors are more prevalent in lower-income households, contributing to health inequalities.