The Scottish Health Survey 2021: summary report

Key findings from the Scottish Health Survey 2021 report.

This document is part of a collection

About The Survey

The sample

SHeS has been designed to provide data on the health of adults (aged 16 and over) and children (aged 0-15) living in private households in Scotland annually. It provides data for NHS Health Boards and local authorities by combining data over four years. In 2021, 4,557 adults and 1,600 children took part in the survey.

Key trends and indicators for NHS health boards and local authorities are available in the SHeS dashboard:

The interview

The principal focus of the survey is cardiovascular disease (CVD) and related risk factors. Some questions and topics are asked annually while others vary from year to year. In 2021, interviews were conducted by telephone, because of the impacts of COVID-19, so no physical measurements were taken. Participants were also asked for permission to link survey responses to their administrative NHS health records. Following the survey, respondents were asked to complete online food intake recalls to get a more complete picture of peoples’ diet. Key topics included in the 2021 survey were:

  • General health, CVD and CPR training
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Respiratory conditions including COVID-19
  • Diet and food insecurity
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Gambling
  • Accidents



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