Health Survey for England - 2012, Trend tables [NS]
The Health Survey for England is a series of annual surveys designed to measure health and health-related behaviours in adults and children living in private households in England. The survey is currently commissioned by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), and before April 2005 was commissioned by the Department of Health. Since 1994, the survey has been carried out by NatCen Social Research and the Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL (University College London).
The survey consists of an interview and nurse visit. It has a series of core elements that are included every year or alternate years, and special topics that are included in selected years. The trend tables focus on key changes in core topics and measurements.
The proportion of adults who meet recommendations for physical activity in 2012 (66 per cent of men and 54 per cent of women) has remained the roughly same as 2008 with 66 per cent and 55 per cent respectively. The biggest increase in the proportion of men and women in meeting recommendations is in those aged 65 to 74 (from 46 per cent in 2008 to 51 per cent in 2012 for men and 37 per cent to 42 per cent for women for the same period).
The proportion of children (aged 5 to 15) who meet recommendations for physical activity in 2008 was 28 per cent for boys and 19 per cent for girls which decreased for both in 2012 to 21 per cent for boys and 16 per cent for girls. Girls aged 11 to 12 was the only group that showed an increase in the proportion meeting recommendations, albeit very slight (13 per cent in 2008 to 14 per cent in 2012).
The prevalence of hypertension in 2012 was 31 per cent among men and 27 per cent among women, remaining at a similar level over the last few years. Between 2003 and 2012, the proportion of the population with controlled hypertension increased from 5 per cent to 9 per cent among men, and from 6 per cent to 9 per cent among women, a slight decrease from 11 per cent and 10 per cent respectively in 2011.The proportion of adults with untreated hypertension decreased from 2003 to 2012 for both sexes (20 per cent to 16 per cent among men and 16 per cent to 11 per cent among women). Whilst the proportion of women with untreated hypertension is about the same as 2011 the proportion of men has risen slightly resulting in a slight increase in the overall figures which had maintained a steady decline since 2003.
The proportion of adults with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) decreased between 1993 and 2012, from 41 per cent to 32 per cent among men and from 49 per cent to 41 per cent among women. Among both men and women there has been little change in the proportion that was overweight over the period (42 per cent of men and 32 per cent of women in 2012).
Between 1993 and 2012, there has been a marked increase in the proportion of adults that were obese. This increased from 13 per cent of men in 1993 to 24 per cent in 2012 and from 16 per cent of women in 1993 to 25 per cent in 2012. The rate of increase in obesity prevalence has been slower in the second half of the period than the first half, and there are indications that the trend may be flattening out, at least temporarily. However, obesity in both men and women peaked in 2010 and was at its highest level since 1993.
Among men there was an increase overall in the proportion who had never regularly smoked cigarettes (from 39 per cent in 1993 to 51 per cent in 2012). Correspondingly, the proportion of men who were current smokers declined overall from 28 per cent in 1993 to 22 per cent in 2012.
The proportion of women who had never regularly smoked increased from 52 per cent in 1993 to 61 per cent in 2012, while the proportion of current smokers decreased overall in the same period, falling from 26 per cent to 18 per cent.
The proportion of men and women who smoked 20 or more cigarettes per day has fallen: from 11 per cent of men in 1993 to 5 per cent in 2012 and from 8 per cent of women to 3 per cent over the same time period.
The proportion of men consuming more than four units on the heaviest day’s drinking in the last week did not show substantial change between 2006 and 2012 (37 per cent in 2012), and similarly the proportion of men that drank more than twice the recommended amount showed little change over the period (21 per cent in 2012).
The picture was different among women: there was a decrease between 2006 and 2012 both in the proportion consuming more than three units on the heaviest day’s drinking last week (from 33 per cent to 28 per cent), and in the proportion drinking more than twice the recommended amount (from 16 per cent to 13 per cent). Both these proportions have remained the same for the last two years.
Long standing illness
The prevalence of longstanding illness among men increased overall from 40 per cent in 1993 to around 44 per cent between 1997 and 2003, but appears to have decreased gradually over the last few years; it was 35 per cent in 2012. Among women, prevalence increased from 40 per cent in 1993 to 47 per cent in 2004, but has since decreased and was 41 per cent in 2012.
The prevalence of doctor-diagnosed diabetes increased between 1994 and 2012 from 2.9 per cent to 6.7 per cent among men and from 1.9 per cent to 4.9 per cent among women.
HSE data sets
Archived HSE data sets are available via the UK data services link for secondary analysis.
Due to planned maintenance at our data centre there may be intermittent website outages between 08:00 and 22:00 on the weekend of 25 and 26 April 2015. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Can't find what you need? Please email our Contact Centre for assistance.
You can also Have Your Say about our statistical publications.
- Publications Calendar
- Supporting transparency and open data
- Data quality
- Statement of administrative sources
- Methodological changes
- International statistics
- Aligning statistics to the new health landscape
- Ordering printed materials
- Guide to Confidentiality in Health and Social Care
- Publication strategy
- Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF)
- Hospital Estates and Facilities Statistics
- Indicator Portal
- MHMDS Online
- National Adult Social Care Intelligence Service
- NHS Safety Thermometer
- All tools
Contact us via