Germans feel healthy



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Germans feel healthy: they exercise more and eat more fruits and vegetables. However, there has been a significant increase in diseases such as diabetes and asthma.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) conducted a telephone survey on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health. The result: A large majority of the population living in Germany feels healthy. More and more people are playing sports and eating healthier. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) asked a total of 21,262 citizens aged 18 and over from all parts of Germany by telephone about physical well-being. More and more people play sports, eat healthy and do not smoke. Younger people are less chronically ill compared to the last survey in 2003. Here the proportion fell by four percent.

Relationship between education and health
It becomes clear that health still has something to do with social status and the education of people. People with a low level of education rate their health less often than very good or good than those with a middle or upper level of education. One-tenth of Germans have severe health restrictions. A quarter of the 65-year-olds had to go to a clinic for treatment within a year.

70 percent feel healthy The results in detail: About 70 percent of Germans feel that their own health is good to very good. The general health of women (68 percentage points) and men (70 percentage points) is the same. No significant changes can be observed in comparison to 2003. However, older women in particular feel even fitter and healthier than they did then.

Hardly any regional differences The differences between regions and federal states are small. Women in Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg have more mental health problems and chronic illnesses than in other regions. In the state of Bavaria, people eat the least amount of fruit and vegetables. Citizens in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate are less vaccinated than in other regions. Health differences among men are less pronounced than among women.

Rates of increase in chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes Young people under the age of 30 are less chronically ill today than in previous years. Here the percentage points fell by eight percent for women and four percent for men. However, more and more people suffer from diseases such as asthma and diabetes. Two fifths of the mainly older generation are affected. Every fifth person (men and women alike) from retirement age suffers from type II diabetes. There has also been a significant increase.

More and more people play sports and smoke less. More and more people do sports. The proportion of extremely sporty people has increased by around 4 percent. About two thirds of Germans do sports regularly. It is also gratifying that so-called "anti-smoking campaigns" have achieved a clear success. Younger people in particular apparently no longer consider it "cool" to smoke. In 2009, around 29 percent of women and 38 percent of men still smoked; today only 26 percent of women and 34 percent of men smoke.

Cooperation between the Robert Koch Institute and the Ministry of Health The questionnaire included a total of 34 categories. Topics such as alcohol consumption, frequency of doctor visits, admissions to clinics, vegetable and fruit consumption, sporting activities, accidents and dental care were asked. In addition, age, region and educational status were of interest for the survey. The results of the survey reveal a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the health of the population. A small telephone survey (telephone survey 2003) was carried out as early as 2003, which means that data on disease and health development can be compared.

The Citizens' Health Survey is part of the so-called health monitoring carried out by the Robert Koch Institute on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health and supplements the study on adult health in Germany (DEGS) and the study on the health of children and adolescents in Germany (KiGGS). The aim of the surveys and studies is to continuously monitor the health of residents in Germany. The ministry wants to monitor risk factors, diseases and trends. Based on the observations, appropriate measures can be taken to counter negative trends in the area of ​​health, for example.

The Ministry of Health presents the results according to age, gender and education in sub-divided tables. Regional differences are also published, key messages are formulated and the results are evaluated. The topics come from the areas of general health, chronic illnesses, factors influencing health and the use of health system performance. Between July 2008 and June 2009, the respondents provided information on their state of health, well-being, lifestyle and circumstances. The expanded scope of the GEDA study is to be carried out regularly, with a constant core area and flexible topics on current issues. The results will be presented at the central public health congress "Modern Medicine". (sb, pm, 22.09.2010)

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