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Welsh Health Survey

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  • Release date: 29 September 2016
  • Period covered: 2015 results
The survey provides information on health status, illnesses, lifestyle, health service use and children.

2015 results

These statistics on the health and health-related lifestyle of people living in Wales are based on data from the Welsh Health Survey 2015.

Latest release

The latest release presents more detailed results for health service use and the health of children.

Key points

Health-related lifestyle
  • 19% of adults reported that they currently smoked. 
  • 6% of adults reported that they currently use an e-cigarette.
  • 40% of adults reported drinking above the guidelines on at least one day in the past week, including 24% who reported drinking more than twice the daily guidelines (sometimes termed binge drinking). However, people do not necessarily drink at these levels regularly.
  • 32% of adults reported eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables the previous day.
  • 58% of adults reported being physically active (doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity in blocks of 10 minutes or more in the previous week), and 30% reported being inactive (active for less than 30 minutes in the previous week).
  • 59% of adults were classified as overweight or obese, including 24% obese. 
  • There has been a decrease in smoking rates since the survey started in 2003/04. Obesity levels have increased during this time. There has been little change in physical activity (using the physically active for at least 30 minutes on five or more days in the previous week guideline) during this time, rates fluctuate from year to year. 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 status, illnesses and other conditions
  • 51% of adults reported currently being treated for an illness such as 20% of adults currently being treated for high blood pressure, 14% for a respiratory illness, 12% for arthritis, 13% 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 15% who were limited a lot.
  • 19% 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 and mental illness. Levels of high blood pressure are higher, and heart conditions and arthritis are lower, than in 2003/04, but there has been little change in recent years. There has also been a slight decrease in reporting of fair or poor general health during this time.
Health of children
  • 94% 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. 
  • 64% children were reported as eating fruit every day, and 52% were reported as eating vegetables every day.
  • 36% of children were reported as undertaking physical activity for at least an hour on every day of the previous week.
  • There has been little change in children’s reported health since 2007 (when the current questions were introduced).

Future of the Welsh Health Survey

Post Welsh Health Survey 2015

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 ceased in its current form at the end of 2015, the results for 2015 will therefore be the final set of Welsh Health Survey results. Further information on this change in approach can be found on the National Survey for Wales webpage.


Tel: 029 2082 6710

Tel: 029 2089 8099

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