Impact of the economic crisis on health-related behaviors in Italy

Giorgio Mattei, Roberto De Vogli, Silvia Ferrari, Luca Pingani, Marco Rigatelli, Gian Maria Galeazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Evidence exists supporting the impact of the Great Recession on health-related behaviors internationally, though few studies are available concerning the Italian population. Aim: To assess the impact of the late 2000s economic crisis on health-related behaviors linked to population mental health in Italy. Methods: Descriptive study. Health indicators came from the Italian Institute of Statistics database (years 2000-2015). Statistics performed by means of linear regression models. Results: Increased smokers (β = 1.68, p =.03), heavy smokers, that is, people smoking 11-20 cigarettes per day (β = 2.18, p =.04) or more than 20 cigarettes per day (β = 1.04, p <.01) and mean number of smoked cigarettes per day (β = 0.56, p =.02) were noticeable. Also, prevalence of overweight increased (β = 0.91, p =.04), while the Italian families' expenditure for alcoholic beverages decreased (β = -812.80, p =.01). Alcohol consumption decreased (β = -0.60, p <.01), especially in men (β = -0.95, p <.01); binge drinking increased in years 2009-2010. No change was noticeable in the diet indicators collected. Conclusion: The economic crisis may have increased smoking, overweight and binge drinking in Italy (though data on the latter phenomenon are not conclusive), and reduced overall alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-656
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • alcohol
  • diet
  • Economic crisis
  • physical activity
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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