Foreword From The Chief Medical Officer
This report presents the findings of the seventh Scottish Health Survey and is the fourth report published since the survey moved to a continuous design in 2008. It has been commissioned by the Scottish Government and produced by a collaboration between ScotCen Social Research, the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London.
The survey provides us with an immensely valuable collection of data gathered from interviews of more than 9,000 adults and children each year. It provides essential data on cardiovascular disease and the related risk factors, including smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity and obesity. Information on general health, mental health and dental health are also included.
When the survey moved to an annual basis in 2008, it was designed to produce a large enough sample to allow NHS Board analysis every four years. The publication of the 2011 data gives us the first opportunity since 2003 to publish results for all fourteen NHS Boards in Scotland. This report is accompanied by a set of web tables and an interactive mapping tool breaking down the key results by NHS Board and creates a valuable local data resource.
In addition to allowing geographical breakdowns, combining the data for recent years allows more detailed analysis of sub-groups than was previously possible. For example, a more in-depth look at how different age groups behave or examination of the different health behaviours of equality groups.
Because of the additional capacity for analysis the 2011 data provides, this year's report has been expanded to include separate volumes for adults and children. The focus on children's health underlines the Scottish Government's commitment to improving outcomes for children and young people and recognises the strong links between early experiences and outcomes in adulthood.
I am pleased to welcome this valuable report and to thank ScotCen Social Research, the MRC/CSO SPHSU and UCL for their hard work in conducting the survey and preparing this report. Most importantly, I would also like to thank the 9,531 people who gave their time to participate in the survey. The information they have provided is invaluable in developing and monitoring public health policy in Scotland.
Sir Harry Burns
Chief Medical Officer for Scotland
Scottish Government Health Directorates
Email: Julie Ramsay