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The European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) aims at measuring on a harmonised basis and with a high degree of comparability among MS the health status, lifestyle (health determinants) and health care services use of the EU citizens.
The European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) was developed between 2003 and 2006, during a process in which all the EU Member States (MS) were largely involved. It consists of four modules on health status, health care, health determinants, and background variables. Those modules may be implemented at the national level either as one specific survey or as elements of existing surveys (i.e. national health interview survey, labour force survey, other household surveys).
The final version of the questionnaire for the first wave of EHIS was adopted by the MS at the Working Group on Public Health Statistics in November 2006. The survey contained around 130 questions split among the four modules covering the following topics:
Background variables on demography and socio-economic status
Minimum European Health Module (MEHM): self-perceived health, chronic health problems and activity limitation
Disease specific morbidity
Accidents and injuries
Work-related health problems
Health related absenteeism from work
Physical and sensory functional limitations
Activities of daily living (ADL - feeding, bathing, etc.) and help received
Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL - preparing meals, shopping, etc.) and help received
Aspect of mental health (psychological distress and mental well-being)
Hospitalisation (inpatient and day care)
Consultations with doctors and dentists
Unmet needs for hospitalization and for consultation with a specialist
Visits to specific non-medical health professionals
Visits to specific categories of alternative medicine practitioners
Use of home care and home help services
Satisfaction with services provided by health care providers
Use of medicines (prescribed and non-prescribed)
Health care preventive actions (influenza vaccination, breast examination, cervical smear test, blood tests, etc.)
Out-of-pocket payments for medical care (self-completion form)
Height and weight
Consumption of fruits, vegetables and juice
Environnent (home and workplace exposures, criminality exposure, social support)
Smoking behaviour and exposure to tobacco smoke (self-completion form)
Alcohol consumption (self-completion form)
Illicit drug use (self-completion form).
The first wave of the EHIS was implemented during the period 2006-2009 under a gentlemen's agreement. Nineteen countries have carried out it:
2006: AT, EE
2007: SI, CH
2008: BE, BG, CZ, CY, FR, LV, MT, RO, TR
2009: DE, EL, ES, HU, PL, SK.
Germany provided aggregated data and for breakdowns with a strata size less than 20, the values were marked as confidential (flag ~c). No data have been received for Switzerland.
In total, 26 indicators based on DG SANCO and DG EMPL needs and covering health status, health determinants and health care are disseminated on Eurostat website. For more information on indicators see document EHIS indicators guidelines.
The indicators present distribution percentages and are calculated with different breakdown according to the indicator:
sex, age group (10-years intervals, 15 – 24, 25 – 34, …, 75 – 84, 85 or over) and educational attainment levels (ISCED0-2, ISCED3-4, ISCED5-6);
sex, age group (18-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65-74, 75 or over) and income quintiles.
For example: 4.5 % of Latvian women aged 25-34 are obese (BMI is equal or greater than 30).
Records with missing values on age and sex were excluded from the calculation of indicators.
Most of the indicators are worked out for the population aged 15 or over. Nevertheless, for some specific indicators, frequencies are calculated on different populations:
the Body Mass Index (BMI) (tables hlth_ehis_de1 and hlth_ehis_de2) is calculated for adults only (18+);
the self-reported prevalence of high blood pressure (table hlth_ehis_st1) is computed for people aged 25+;
the self-reported vaccination against influenza (table hlth_ehis_hc1) is computed for people aged 65+;
the self-reported breast examination by X-ray (table hlth_ehis_hc2) is computed for women aged 50-69;
the self-reported cervical smear test (table hlth_ehis_hc3) is computed for women aged 20-69;
the self-reported colorectal cancer screening test (table hlth_ehis_hc4) is computed for people aged 50-74.
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