Better education linked to better health, survey claims

The more educated you are, the less likely you are to smoke, be disabled or contract diabetes and the more likely you are to exercise, National Health Survey says.

February 9, 2011 05:04
2 minute read.
Better education linked to better health, survey claims

jewish school boy pupil 248. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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The more educated you are, the less likely you are to smoke, be disabled or contract diabetes and the more likely you are to exercise, according to the latest National Health Survey (2009) by the Central Bureau of Statistics, which was published on Tuesday.

The survey was based on interviews at 9,000 households comprising 29,000 people who constituted a representative sample of the population.

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The data will be used, among other things, to report on health trends to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which Israel officially joined last year.

The survey showed that the average percapita number of visits to doctors was 6.2 in 2009; the lower the educational level, the more visits to physicians.

Those who studied least visited 19 times a year compared to 12 by people who studied 16 years or more.

Other data showed that between 2000 and 2010, people aged 65 and over constituted 10 percent of the population, but in 2025, they are expected to comprise 13% of the population, as many Israelis who arrived here as children after the Holocaust and the declaration of the state reach that age.

In 2009, the elderly represented 25% of those making visits to doctors compared to 21% in 2000, even though their relative share in the population hardly increased during the decade.

Seventeen percent of the adult population said they had been diagnosed with at least one chronic disease, such as hypertension, heart disease, asthma, cancer or diabetes; this was an increase from 15% in 2000. Almost 70% of those over 65 reporting have been diagnosed with at least one chronic disease.

Among adults aged 25 and above, 6% (5% of the men and 7% of the women) reported suffering from chronic disability; over 65, 18% of the men and 27% of the women said they had such a disability. The more education one had received, the lower the likelihood of disability.

About half of those over 65 received a flu shot, with 53% of Arabs and 51% of Jews vaccinated in 2009. Sixtyseven percent of women aged 50 to 69 underwent a mammogram to detect breast cancer during the previous two years, compared to only 53% nine years before.

A fifth of adults over the age of 20 said they smoked at least one cigarette daily; the figure was 28% among men and 13% among women.

People with nine to 12 years of schooling had a higher smoking rate – 26% – compared to 17% among those with 13 to 15 years of schooling.

Arabs over 40 are much less likely than Jews their age to exercise regularly; only 5% of Arabs said they did, compared to 26% of the Jews. A fifth of Israelis over 20 said they exercised at least 30 minutes three times a week or more; men were more likely to do so than women.

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