Self-perceived health of senior population has been improving over the last five years

03.11.2015

Provisional results of the European Health Interview Survey 2014 carried out by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that over the last five years self-perceived health of senior population has significantly improved. If in 2008, 41.0% of people over the age of 65 years perceived their health as bad or very bad, then in 2014 this number was much smaller (32.4%). Also the number of senior residents who perceive their health as good or very good has increased by 2.7 percentage points.

45.6% of the Latvian population assess their health as good and very good. Over the last five years this share of population has slightly decreased - in 2008, 49.2% of the residents of Latvia perceived their health as good or very good. In turn, 14.1% of the population perceive their health as bad or very bad (in 2008 - 13.0%). Self-perceived health of people in Latvia is still significantly lagging behind the average European Union (EU) indicator - 67% of the EU population perceive their health as good or very good.

The survey data show that men in Latvian (despite lower life expectancy) assess their health more positively than women. In 2014, 51.7% of men, and 41.4% of women perceived their health as good or very good (in 2008 - 54.9% and 44.4%, respectively).

Self-perceived health of young people aged 15 - 24 years remains high - 84.3% of them assess their health as good or very good (0.8% less than in 2008). Like before, positive self-perceived health (good and very good) was reported by the population under the age of 44 years. Reaching 45 years of age, well-being tends to deteriorate, and a larger share of people assess their health as fair. A third (32.4%) of the population over the age of 65 years perceive their health as bad or very bad, and a half (53.7%) as fair.

Self-perceived health of population in 2008 and 2014, by age group

Data source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

In 2014, 22.4% of the Latvian population did not receive the necessary medical care due to lack of money. 28.8% of the population last year could not afford the needed dental services, and 17.8% could not afford to purchase medicines prescribed by the doctor. Most often the respective medical services could not be afforded by women and residents aged 55 - 64 years.

Over the last five years the number of people who have normal body weight, according to the body mass index, has decreased. If in 2008, 44.7% of the population had normal weight, than in 2014 this indicator had dropped to 40.9%. Last year body mass index of 22.1% of the population indicated obesity (in 2008 - 16.2%), in turn, only 1.8% of the population had insufficient body weight (in 2008 - 2.2%).

39.8% of men and 32.1% of women had excess weight, and 18.2% of men and 24.8% of women had obesity. The problem of excess weight and obesity affects the majority of men, reaching 30 years of age, and the majority of women - over 40 years of age.

In regional breakdown the largest share of the population with normal weight reside in Riga (44.5%), while the largest share of the population with excess weight - in Kurzeme (37.7%), and with obesity - in Vidzeme (25.1%).

In 2014, 26.4% of the Latvian residents had smoked, which is 8.3 percentage points less than in 2008 (34.7%). Of them 21.9% were daily smokers. The share of men - daily smokers has significantly decreased (from 46.3% in 2008 to 34.6% last year), in turn the share of women - daily smokers has practically not changed. The majority of men (59.5%) and women (83.6%) claim that they do not smoke at all.

Data on self-perceived health of the Latvian population in 2014 have been obtained within the framework of the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS). The purpose of the survey is to obtain information on self-perceived health of the European Union (EU) citizens, their lifestyle, use of health care services and their availability in relation to socio-economic indicators in the country. Within the survey framework 7 thousand residents of Latvia aged at least 15 years have been surveyed.

European Health Interview Survey was conducted in all EU Member States, as well as in Iceland and Norway, and the survey findings will be used for socio-economic policy planning in each Member State and the EU as a whole.

Data on self-perceived health of Latvian residents in 2014 will be published on the CSB homepage in March 2016.

 

More information:
Culture, Education, Science and Health Statistics Section
Anita Švarckopfa
Tel. +371 67366648