Pupils in provinces less healthy, study shows

Adolescents in the provinces display a significantly higher proportion of health problems than their city peers, a new study shows. One in two high school pupils have a predisposition to scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine, while 58 percent suffer from visual impairment, according to the study which was carried out with the participation of pupils in Aitoloacarnania, in the Peloponnese, and on Crete. The study also shows that eight out of 10 pupils have tooth decay and that 12 percent have had a heart murmur. A similar study with pupils in Attica showed that only 3.8 percent suffered from scoliosis and 3.7 percent had had a heart murmur. The findings highlight the importance of promoting preventive healthcare at schools particularly in the provinces, said Athens University professor Yiannis Tountas.