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More than 40% of adults in England have a long-term condition, survey reveals

Data from the Health Survey for England 2018 has shown that a significant proportion of adults in England have at least one long-term health condition.

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Some 43% of adults and 16% of children have at least one long-term medical condition

Results from a survey of almost 8,200 adults has found that more than 40% of adults in England are living with at least one long-term medical condition.

The Health Survey for England (HSE) monitors trends in the nation’s health and care and provides information about adults (aged 16 years and over) and children (aged 15 years and under) living in private households in England.

A total of 8,178 adults and 2,072 children were interviewed for the 2018 survey.

The results revealed that 43% of adults and 16% of children had at least one long-term medical condition. The most common types of condition in adults were musculoskeletal (17%); cardiovascular (11%) or related to mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental conditions (9%).

The HSE also showed that the proportion of children with diagnosed asthma had decreased from 20% in 2001/2002 to 10% in 2018. Of the adults surveyed, 17% of men and 18% of women had previously had asthma diagnosed.

The proportion of adults with doctor-diagnosed diabetes was found to have increased between 1994 and 2018, with some year-on-year fluctuation, from 3% to 8% among men and from 2% to 6% among women.

But, the proportion of adults with untreated hypertension had decreased from 2003 to 2018 for both men (20% to 13%) and women (16% to 10%).

The data show that current cigarette smoking among adults steadily declined between 1993 and 2018, from 27% to 17%, with 18% of current cigarette smokers found to be using e-cigarettes. The proportion of children aged 8–15 years who have smoked had also decreased from 19% in 1997 to 4% in 2018.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207427

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