Health Survey for England
The Health Survey for England (HSE) is a statistical survey which is conducted annually in order to collect information concerning health and health-related behaviour of people living in private households in England.
The HSE was originally set up in 1991 to provide information about morbidity with the aim of improving the targeting of national health policies. From 1991 to 1994, the survey was conducted by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys which is now part of the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This changed in 1994 and the survey is now conducted by the Joint Survey Unit of the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London.
Besides certain core questions that remain unchanged, the focus of the HSE changes every year to a different topic. These boost samples are repeated in appropriate intervals to assure continuity and to monitor change. Since 1991, the following topics have been in the focus of the HSE:
- 1993 Cardiovascular disease
- 1994 Cardiovascular disease
- 1995 Asthma, accidents and disability
- 1996 Asthma, accidents and special measures of general health
- 1997 Children and young people
- 1998 Cardiovascular disease
- 1999 Ethnic groups
- 2000 Older people and social exclusion
- 2001 Respiratory disease and atopic conditions, disability and non-fatal accidents
- 2002 Children and young people (aged 0–24)
- 2003 Cardiovascular disease
- 2004 Ethnic minority groups
- 2005 Older people
- 2006 Cardiovascular disease
- 2007 CVD and risk factors for adults, obesity and risk factors for children
- 2008 Physical activity and fitness
- 2009 Health and lifestyles
- 2010 Respiratory health
- 2011 Health, social care and lifestyles
- 2012 Health Survey for England
From 1991 to 1995 the HSE was restricted to adults aged 16 and over but that changed in 1995 when children aged 2–15 were equally included in the survey. Since 2001, the age restrictions were removed completely except for topics only targeting a certain population group.
Methodology and scope
The HSE looks at a sample of about 16,000 adults and 4,000 children and the information is collected by interviews with all eligible people of a household, followed by a nurse’s visit. Persons aged 13 and over are interviewed directly whereas information about children under 13 is given by the parents while the children are present. The physical measurements taken include a blood sample.
The main findings of the HSE are published annually in the form of a report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre and the ONS.
Re-using the data
The data and additional study information is available to download at the http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/.