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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Health Survey for England - 2013, Trend tables

Official statistics, National statistics, Survey
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Country, Regions, Strategic Health Authorities
Date Range:
01 Jan 1993 to 31 Dec 2013


The Health Survey for England series was designed to monitor trends in the nation's health, to estimate the proportion of people in England who have specified health conditions, and to estimate the prevalence of certain risk factors and combinations of risk factors associated with these conditions. The surveys provide regular information that cannot be obtained from other sources on a range of aspects concerning the public's health and many of the factors that affect health.

Each survey in the series includes core questions and measurements (such as blood pressure, height and weight, and analysis of blood and saliva samples), and modules of questions on topics that vary from year to year. These trend tables focus on key changes in core topics and measurements.

All surveys have covered the adult population aged 16 and over living in private households in England. Since 1995, the surveys have included children who live in households selected for the survey; children aged 2-15 were included from 1995, and infants under two years old were added in 2001.

The Health Survey for England has been carried out since 1994 by the Joint Health Surveys Unit of NatCen Social Research and the Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL (University College London). A total of 8,795 adults and 2,185 children were interviewed in 2013.



  • The proportion of adults with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) decreased between 1993 and 2013, from 41 per cent to 31 per cent among men and from 49 per cent to 41 per cent among women. Among both men and women there has been little change in the proportion that was overweight over the period, (41 per cent of men and 33 per cent of women in 2013).
  • Between 1993 and 2013, there was a marked increase in the proportion of adults that were obese; from 13 per cent to 26 per cent among men and from 16 per cent to 24 per cent among women. The prevalence of obesity increased steeply between 1993 and 2000 and then more slowly. It has been between 24 per cent and 26 per cent for both sexes in recent years.

Blood pressure

  • The prevalence of hypertension in 2013 was 31 per cent among men and 26 per cent among women and has been at a similar level over the last few years.
  • Between 2003 and 2013, the proportion of the population with controlled hypertension increased from 5 per cent to 9 per cent among men, and from 6 per cent to 10 per cent among women. The proportion of adults with untreated hypertension decreased from 2003 to 2013 for both sexes, (from 20 per cent to 16 per cent among men and from 16 per cent to 10 per cent among women).


  • The prevalence of doctor-diagnosed diabetes increased between 1994 and 2013 from 2.9 per cent to 6.9 per cent among men and from 1.9 per cent to 5.6 per cent among women.


  • There has been a steady decline in the proportion of women who were current smokers over the last decade from 24 per cent in 2003 to 17 per cent in 2013. The proportion of men who were current smokers fell from 27 per cent in 2003 to 24 per cent in in 2006 and has varied little since then and was 24 per cent in 2013.
  • The proportion of adults who smoked 20 or more cigarettes per day has fallen from 1993 to 2013: from 11 per cent to 5 per cent among men and from 8 per cent to 3 per cent among women.

Alcohol consumption

  • Current government guidelines advise that daily drinking should not regularly exceed 4 units for men and 3 units for women. The proportion of men consuming more than 4 units on the heaviest day's drinking in the last week was 37 per cent in 2013 and lower than in 2006 (41 per cent). The proportion of women consuming more than 3 units on the heaviest day's drinking last week fell from 33 per cent in 2006 to 27 per cent in 2013.
  • Average weekly alcohol consumption has been similar over the last three years for both men and women. In 2013, 15 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women did not drink any alcohol in the last year. Just under two thirds drank at levels indicating lower risk of harm: up to 21 units per week for men (63 per cent) and up to 14 units per week for women (64 per cent). 18 per cent of men drank at an increased risk of harm (more than 21, up to 50 units per week), and 5 per cent drank at higher risk levels (more than 50 units per week). 13 per cent of women drank at increased risk levels (more than 14 units up to 35 units), and 3 per cent drank at higher risk levels (more than 35 units per week).

HSE data sets

  • Anonymised and non-disclosive HSE data sets are available for analysis via the UK Data Service link below.


Related Links

Last edited: 9 May 2018 10:33 pm