Health: what do we suffer from most in Switzerland?

According to the latest “Swiss Health Survey”, people aged 15 and over also report predominantly positive feelings in 2022 and always or most of the time feel “calm and peaceful” (80%) or “happy » (83%). The share of people with medium or high psychological distress, however, increased from 15% to 18%, compared to 2017, particularly among those aged 15 to 24 (22%), with women being particularly affected – 9% of them. suffer from high psychological distress and 20% from medium psychological distress. Among young women, 18% suffer from anxiety disorders.

Source: Swiss Health Survey, Federal Statistical Office

■ Long-term health problems are increasing

More than a third of the population – 34% of men and 38% of women – report long-term health problems. The proportion of people affected increases sharply with age (see graph) and exceeds half of the population from the age of 65. Among people without post-compulsory training, this proportion is higher than among people with tertiary education: 42% compared to 34%.

Source: Swiss Health Survey, Federal Statistical Office

■ Marked correlation with age

Health concerns and health-related restrictions increase with age. Among those aged 65 and over, one in two people report a long-term health problem, and 8% say they are severely limited in their daily activities. Diabetes affects 12% of people in this age group, with the proportion of men increasing. The prevalence of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia has also increased significantly. The proportion of people in this age group suffering from hypertension has increased from 36% to 49% over the last thirty years. Both the progression and prevalence of hypertension are significantly higher in men than in women.

■ Widespread physical disorders

Although, according to the “Swiss Health Survey”, the majority of respondents consider themselves in good health, 25% complain of significant physical complaints in the four weeks preceding the survey. These disorders are partly linked to psychosocial factors such as stress. General fatigue (46%) as well as back or lower back pain (45%) are the most common physical disorders. More women complain of general fatigue (54%), while men mainly complain of back pain (40%). These physical disorders have increased compared to 1992.

Source: Swiss Health Survey, Federal Statistical Office
Source: Swiss Health Survey, Federal Statistical Office

■ One in three people affected by poor sleep

Sleep is an essential biological function, necessary for everyone’s well-being. Sleep disorders are widespread in Switzerland, affecting a third of the population: 7% in the form of pathological disorders and 26% in the form of disorders of average severity. However, these disorders do not affect the entire population in the same way: they are more common in women (37%) than in men (29%). Furthermore, these disorders worsen with age. In 2022, their prevalence (33%) had increased both compared to 1997 (28%) and compared to 2017 (29%).

■ Stabilization of the proportion of overweight people

In 2022, 43% of the population was overweight or obese. There were significantly more men than women who were overweight, with the difference being negligible in terms of obesity. After a rapid increase between 1992 and 2012, the prevalence of overweight and obesity tends to stabilize. Obesity has only increased slightly since 2012 (at 12%), while overweight has remained stable (at 31%).

■ More than 40% of the population is myopic

The share of the population aged 15 and over wearing glasses or contact lenses increased from 59% in 1992 to 68% in 2022. This increase is partly linked to an increase in the prevalence of myopia, over the over the last thirty years, increasing from 32% to 43%. At the same time, visual acuity declines with age, and people need optical aids for reading. In age groups from 55 years old, more than 85% of people use visual aids, the majority of them for reading.

Source: Swiss Health Survey, Federal Statistical Office
Source: Swiss Health Survey, Federal Statistical Office

Methodology

Evolution over the last thirty years. The Federal Statistical Office has carried out this “Swiss Health Survey” every five years since 1992. This is the seventh edition carried out in 2022. These regular explorations make it possible to observe patterns of behavior and their evolution, over a period of thirty years. Population health is constantly evolving, in interaction with social changes.

According to those responsible for these surveys, it is interesting to highlight the population groups affected by these developments and those who are not. Methodology: as part of the 2022 survey, 21,930 people were questioned about their state of health and their behaviors likely to influence their health. Data were collected through telephone interviews in German, French and Italian, supplemented by a written questionnaire. This survey covered the permanent resident population in Switzerland aged 15 and over and living in private households in all regions of the country.

Quality of statistical data. The published results are weighted according to the entire permanent resident population in Switzerland (aged 15 and over and living in private households). According to the Federal Statistical Office, when interpreting the data, it must be taken into account that the random error is relatively large for results based on a small number of observations. This is why results based on fewer than 30 responses are placed in parentheses; this does not apply to selected data.

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