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Welsh Health Survey

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  • Release date: 28 January 2015
  • Period covered: 2013
  • Next update: 3 June 2015
The survey provides information on health status, illnesses, lifestyle, health service use and children.

Future of the Welsh Health Survey

Change in Welsh Health Survey publication format

From 2015 the format of the publication of Welsh Health Survey information will change. The initial headline results will continue to be released, but the annual report and the local authority/ local health board bulletin will be replaced with a series of statistical bulletins. This change in publication method is to allow us to release statistics which users highlighted as most useful earlier than was previously possible. The first bulletin will focus on health-related lifestyle, identified by users as the most important topic. These changes will be introduced for the Welsh Health Survey 2014 round of publication.

Post Welsh Health Survey 2015

The report summarising the responses to the 2014 consultation looking into the future approach and content of the Welsh Health Survey has been published.

Since the completion of this consultation exercise, it has been decided to replace existing surveys, including Welsh Health Survey, with a new survey of adults starting during 2016-17 which will include health related questions. Welsh Health Survey will run until the end of 2015 and then cease in its current form. Further information on this change in approach can be found on in the National Survey for Wales webpage.

Sub-local authority level analysis, 2008-2013

Release date: 28 January 2015

There were high levels of variation in health-related lifestyle across small areas (USOA) in Wales, with large variation found within local authorities.

2013 results

Release date: 30 September 2014

These statistics on the health and health-related lifestyle of people living in Wales are based on data from the Welsh Health Survey 2013. Some initial headline results from the survey were published in May 2014. The main report published now includes more detailed information. Local authority and health board results are provided in an accompanying statistical bulletin, also published today.

Please note that additional tables are presented in Excel alongside the report, which provide more detailed data breakdowns, including trend data.

Key points

Health status, illnesses and other conditions

  • 20% of adults reported currently being treated for high blood pressure, 14% for a respiratory illness, 12% for arthritis, 12% for a mental illness, 8% for a heart condition and 7% for diabetes.
  • 33% of adults reported that their day-to-day activities were limited because of a health problem/disability, including 16% who were limited a lot.
  • 20% of adults reported fair or poor general health.
  • Since the survey started in 2003/04, there has been a slight increase in adults reporting being treated for diabetes, mental illness and high blood pressure, and a slight decrease for heart conditions and arthritis. There has been a slight decrease in reporting of fair or poor health during this time.

Health-related lifestyle

  • 21% of adults reported that they currently smoked.
  • 42% of adults reported drinking above the guidelines on at least one day in the past week, including 26% who reported drinking more than twice the daily guidelines (sometimes termed binge drinking). However, people do not necessarily drink at these levels regularly.
  • 33% of adults reported eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables the previous day.
  • 29% of adults reported being physically active on 5 or more days in the past week  and 34% on 0 days.
  • 58% of adults were classified as overweight or obese, including 22% obese.
  • There has been a decrease in smoking rates since the survey started in 2003/04. Obesity levels have increased during this time, although there was a slight (but not statistically significant) drop for the most recent year. There has been little change in physical activity during this time. Compared with guidelines, there has been a small decline in levels of drinking and in fruit and vegetable consumption since 2008 (when the current questions were introduced).

Health of children

  • 95% of children were reported to have very good or good general health.
  • 19% of children were reported as having a long-standing illness, including 7% with a limiting long-standing illness.
  • There has been little change in children’s reported health since 2007 (when the current questions were introduced).


(1) Did at least 30 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity on 5 or more days in the previous week.


Tel: 029 2082 6710