Scottish Health Survey 2018: main report - revised 2020

An amended version of the Scottish Health Survey 2018 main report.

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Foreword from the Chief Medical Officer

This report presents the findings of the 2018 Scottish Health Survey. The survey provides data extending back over 23 years. The 2012-2018 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 respiratory symptoms and eating habits.

The 2018 report presents the first Scotland level estimates of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to aid smoking cessation and types of doctor-diagnosed diabetes.

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 6,790 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



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