Dutch people generally feel healthy

30/08/2011 15:00

The majority of the Dutch population perceive their own health as good or very good. Women and older people less often feel healthy. Health perception also depends on the number of chronic diseases. People suffering from back problems less often feel healthy.

Eight in ten healthy or very healthy

Eight in ten Dutch evaluated their own health as good or very good last year. Only just under 4 percent (635 thousand people) evaluated their health status as poor or very poor. Older people are less positive about their health than young people. In general, women feel less healthy than men; 82 percent of men reported their health was good or very good versus 78 percent of women. One of the reasons is that women live longer, so their average age is higher. Women also more often suffer from chronic diseases than men.

Perceived health, 2010

Perceived health, 2010

Feeling unhealthy related to chronic diseases

People with chronic diseases more often feel unhealthy, in particular those who suffer from more than one chronic condition. Only 37 percent of people with three or more chronic conditions, for example, assess their own state of health as good or very good. There is no difference between men and women in this respect. People without chronic diseases generally feel much healthier; 95 percent in this category say their state of health is good or very good.

Perceived health and chronic diseases, 2010

Perceived health and chronic diseases, 2010

People with back problems less often feel healthy

The six most common chronic conditions last year were migraine (14 percent in the population), hypertension (13 percent), arthrosis (11 percent), back problems (9 percent), neck or shoulder problems (9 percent) and asthma (8 percent). People with backache are the least happy with their state of health. Only 46 percent of people with back problems evaluate their state of health as (very) good. Back problems rarely come alone, 63 percent suffer from two or more chronic conditions.

Health perception and the six most common chronic diseases, 2010

Health perception and the six most common chronic diseases, 2010

Marieke Houben-van Herten