The Scottish Health Survey 2022 – volume 1: main report

This report presents results for the Scottish Health Survey 2022, providing information on the health and factors relating to health of people living in Scotland.

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Foreword from Chief Medical Officer

This report presents the findings of the 2022 Scottish Health Survey. These survey results present the picture of health and wellbeing in Scotland as we emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey provides us with immensely valuable information on cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions, other health conditions, mental wellbeing, dental health and health related risk factors including smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and obesity. In 2022, questions on chronic pain were included for the first time providing the first national level results.

As the protections necessitated by the pandemic were eased, the 2022 survey returned to the usual approach of interviewing within the home for most of the year. This means that we can be confident that the 2022 results can be compared with the pre-pandemic years. As an alternative approach of telephone interviewing was necessary for the 2021 survey, this variation in survey methods should be borne in mind when interpreting changes between 2021 and 2022.

Key findings from the 2022 survey include a continuing decrease in levels of mental wellbeing, increased prevalence of vaping and higher levels of long-covid. We see levels of hazardous/harmful drinking continuing to steadily decline and the proportion of non-drinkers increasing.

The survey was commissioned by the Scottish Government and produced by a collaboration between the Scottish Centre for Social Research, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (MRC/CSO SPHSU) at the University of Glasgow, the Centre for Population Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh and the Public Health Nutrition Research Group at the University of Aberdeen.

I welcome this valuable report and thank the consortium led by the Scottish Centre for Social Research for conducting the survey and preparing this report and for their cooperation and support in continuing to develop the survey. Most importantly, I would like to thank the 6,158 people who gave their time to participate. The information they have provided is invaluable in developing, evaluating and monitoring population health policy in Scotland.

Professor Sir Gregor Smith

Chief Medical Officer for Scotland



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