Foreword from the Chief Medical Officer
This report presents the findings of the 2019 Scottish Health Survey. The survey provides data extending back over 24 years. The 2012-2019 surveys were 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, The Centre for Population Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh and The Public Health Nutrition Research Group at Aberdeen University.
The survey provides us with an immensely valuable collection of data on cardiovascular disease and related risk factors including smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity and obesity. Information on general health, mental health and dental health are also included. The survey's rotating module, which asks certain questions every two years, includes information on accidents, dental health services, experience of discrimination and harassment, social capital and stress at work.
The 2019 report presents the first Scotland level estimates of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) of adults. This important data allows us to gauge the prevalence of ACEs in Scotland and understand some of the impacts on health and wellbeing.
With each additional survey year, the ability to analyse trends adds considerably to the usefulness of this data source, while combining data from previous surveys allows for more detailed analysis of specific health conditions, risk factors and related health behaviours.
I am pleased to welcome this valuable report and to thank the consortium led by ScotCen Social Research for their hard work in conducting the survey and preparing this report. Most importantly, I would also like to thank the 6,881 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.
Dr Gregor Smith
Chief Medical Officer for Scotland
Scottish Government Health Directorates