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Welsh Health Survey

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  • Release date: 21 May 2014
  • Period covered: 2013
  • Next update: 30 September 2014
The survey provides information on health status, illnesses, lifestyle, health service use and children.

These statistics on the health and health-related lifestyle of people living in Wales are based on data from the Welsh Health Survey 2013. The report contains some initial headline results. The main report of the survey will include more detailed information and will be published in September.

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(1).
  • 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.


A consultation on the future approach to the Welsh Health Survey runs from 21 May to 13 August 2014. We would welcome your views.


Tel: 029 2082 6710

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