The Ministry of Health in the Valencia region has made public the main results of the Health Survey of the Valencian Community 2022, which is carried out periodically, and this time was carried out between the months of May and December 2022, with a total of 9,797 interviews carried out with people aged 15 or over and 1,591 corresponding to people under 15 years of age.
Among the main results of this survey, it stands out that 78% of the adult population of the Valencian Community has positively assessed their state of health. Specifically, by sex, 81.3% of men and 74.7% of women.
Since 2005, the evolution of the population aged 15 and over who rate their health status favourably has been growing, both in men and women, although the perception of good health is always better. This positive evolution has occurred in all age groups, especially between 65 and 74 years of age, where the increase reaches 15.8 percentage points, as well as between 75 and 84, which is 11.3 points.
On the other hand, according to the results of the survey, living longer is associated with suffering from chronic or long-term diseases and this opinion increases with age, so that it reaches 76% of people aged 65 and over in the Community. Valencian.
An increase in the main metabolic cardiovascular risk factors is observed: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. However, there is a downward trend in some osteoarticular problems: osteoarthritis, lumbar and cervical back pain, which, on the other hand, predominate among women. Severe functional limitations increase considerably with age, especially after age 75, reaching 13% of this population group.
Health-related quality of life has been evolving positively and steadily since 2005, going from an average score of 72.6 out of 100 in 2005 to 77.4 in 2022.
In relation to the dimension that most affects quality of life, the presence of pain or discomfort affects 1 in every four people aged 15 or older and in a greater proportion of women than men.
In the minor and adolescent population, the opinion on health-related quality of life is high, 87.7 points on average out of 100, with no differences based on sex.
It is also worth noting the growing need for support and social care at home as age increases and especially in women, reaching 25% of people aged 85 and over who require it, mainly as help with household tasks, for cleaning and personal care and for the telecare service.
Excess weight, which includes both overweight and obesity, continues to represent one of the main public health problems, despite the slight decrease observed since 2010. It affects 30% of the child and adolescent population (2 to 17 years) with the highest prevalence in the male sex (32.8% of boys compared to 26.1% of girls). While the differences in overweight are not notable (15.7% boys and 16.5% girls), those in obesity are (17.1% boys and 9.6% girls).
Among people aged 18 and over, 34.5% are overweight and 13.3% are obese, maintaining the same pattern of male predominance as in the child and adolescent population (41.9% overweight and 14.2% obesity in men compared to 27.4% overweight and 12.5% obesity in women).
Excess weight presents a clear inequality in health, with a more negative impact on people from more disadvantaged social strata and lower educational levels.
The survey assesses adherence to the Mediterranean diet for the first time. Among the adult population (≥15 years old), 85.1% follow a dietary pattern aligned with the recommendations of the Mediterranean diet, higher in women (87.5% compared to 82.7% in men).
The group with the lowest adherence is 15-24 years old (74% women and 67.3% men, but it improves with age, so that, among people in age groups over 64 years, 9 out of 10 follow a diet based on the recommendations of the Mediterranean diet.
Regarding the child population, 54.8% must improve to adjust to the Mediterranean model, highlighting the 10-14 year old group as the most susceptible to improvement.
The prevalence of people aged 15 to 69 years with a low level of weekly physical activity and who do not meet the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is 25.9%, worse in the case of women.
In leisure time, they are also physically more inactive than men, with prevalences that remain stable over time (35.7% in 2010 and 35.5% in 2022), unlike men whose evolution temporary has worsened (from 26% to 29.8% in the same period).
On the contrary, the evolution among people under 15 years of age has been favourable, although in this group it is worth highlighting the differences between sexes in relation to physical inactivity in leisure time (13.5% of boys and 24.4% of girls) with the largest difference between sexes in adolescence.