On population’s self-assessment of the state of heath in 2010

02.06.2011

Within the framework of the survey “Community Survey on Income and Life Conditions” (EU-SILC) in 2010 Central Statistical Bureau surveyed 6.3 thousand households. In the survey all household members aged 16 and over were asked about health. In 2010 totally 12.9  thousand respondents esteemed own state of health, and their answers were generalised to all population of the corresponding age.

In the survey respondents were asked to evaluate their health. In 2010 4.6% of respondents characterised their health as "very good". Still, the highest share of respondents chose more modest assessment. 44% of respondents characterised their health as "good" and 34% - as "fair". 13% of respondents described their health as "bad" and 3.2% - as "very bad". The results do not differ significantly from the data acquired a year before.

The answers on health self-esteem given by the men slightly differ from the answers given by the women. The chart below indicates that men assessed their health more optimistically then women.

Answers to the question “How do you evaluate your general health status?” in 2010
(in per cent)

Self-perceived health varies among different age groups. The most optimistic self-perceived health was recorded among young people aged 16-24. 86% of them perceive their health as ‘’good’’ or ‘’very good’’. But the lowest estimations of the state of health were recorded among respondents aged 65 and over. 45% of them perceive their health as ‘’bad’’ or ‘’very bad’’.

In 2010 positive answer to the question ‘’Do you have any chronic illness, long-standing sickness or physical limitations?’’ gave more than one third of the respondents (34%). 30% of respondents mentioned that health problems have disturbed or limited their home, work or leisure activities at for at least 6 months. 7.0% of them mentioned that these problems are serious (i.e., there are strong limitations), but 23% told that there are limitations, bet they are not so explicit. From the results of the survey it can be concluded, that limitations caused by the health problems noticeably increase for people aged 65 and over. Only 33% of respondents aged 65 and over ascertained that during the last 6 months they have not suffered from health problems that have limited their home, work and leisure activities.

Within the EU-SILC respondents were asked a question “Was there any occasion during the last 12 months when you needed a medical examination or treatment (except dentist), but you did not have it?’’ Affirmative answer (“Yes, there was at least one occasion”) to this question was received from 21% of respondents, and it is more than in 2008 (19%) and in 2009 (16%). The chart below shows that increasingly more persons are not visiting doctor because of the lack of money.

Main reasons hindering consultation with medical staff of persons, who during the last 12 months had at least one occasion when they needed a medical examination or treatment (except dentist), but they did not have it in 2008 – 2010
(in per cent)

Data of the EU-SILC show that most often medical examination or treatment did not have unemployed and pensioners. 30% of unemployed and 26% of pensioners to the question “Was there any occasion during the last 12 months when you needed a medical examination or treatment (except dentist), but you did not have it?’’ answered affirmative. Affirmative answer to the same question was received by noticeably lower share of employed (18%) and other inactive persons (14%). Main reason for not having medical examination or treatment mentioned by unemployed (82%) and pensioners (65%) was “could not afford to (too expensive)”. Thus, one fourth (25%) of the total number of unemployed and 17% of total number of pensioners in 2010 had to refuse from needed medical treatment of examination, because they could not afford it. It may influence the state of health of unemployed and pensioners and growth of cases of neglected diseases in the future.

21% of surveyed respondents during the last 12 months needed dental examination or treatment, but they did not have it. 84% of the persons who during the last 12 months needed dental examination or treatment, but did not have it, mentioned that they ‘’could not afford it (too expensive)’’. But the second reason for not visiting a dentist mentioned the most frequently (7.3%) was that people are ''afraid of the dentists’’.


Prepared by Income and Living Conditions Statistics Section
Tel. 67366727
Liene Āboliņa