Scottish Health Survey 2016 - volume 1: main report

Statistics relating to the health of people living in Scotland.

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Foreword from the Chief Medical Officer

This report presents the findings of the 2016 Scottish Health Survey. The survey provides data extending back over 20 years and has been running to a continuous design since 2008. The 2012-2016 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 is also included.

The 2016 report includes a new chapter analysing, in combination, the prevalence of 4 key risk factors for poor health: smoking; hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption; overweight and obesity; and low physical activity levels. The analysis explores which demographic groups are most likely to report multiple risk factors, and the relationship between multiple risks and the presence of long-term conditions.

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 5,884 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 Catherine Calderwood
Chief Medical Officer for Scotland
Scottish Government Health Directorates


Email: Julie Landsberg, Julie Landsberg

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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