Health Survey for England - 2005, Health of Older People [NS]
This report presents detailed findings from the 2005 Health Survey for England. The report focuses on the health of older people - those aged 65 and over.
Older people were asked questions on core topics such as general health, smoking and fruit and vegetable consumption. They were asked about their use of health, dental and social care services, cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic diseases and quality of care, disabilities, falls and mental health. Several measurements were taken by specially trained nurses including height and weight, and blood pressure. Tests of physical function were performed and blood samples taken in order to measure conditions such as anaemia. Measures of social capital were included, for example participation in organised associations and contact with friends and family. Several measures of health were included for the first time: measures of function ie grip strength, walking impairment and ability to balance and a measure of geriatric depression.
Among those aged 65 and over:
- more than half said their health was 'good' or 'very good'
- more women than men 65 per cent compared with 48 per cent - found it difficult to walk up a flight of 12 stairs without resting
- 23 per cent men and 29 per cent of women had fallen in the last 12 months
- CVD was the most common chronic disease reported by men (37 per cent)
- arthritis was the most common chronic disease reported by women (47 per cent)
- almost two thirds were hypertensive
- 22 per cent had visited their GP is the last two weeks
- 12 per cent of women and 9 per cent of men reported low levels of psychosocial wellbeing based on 12 items measuring general levels of happiness, depressions and anxiety, sleep disturbance and the ability to cope of the last few weeks.