7.1 General context
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European Health Interview Survey
In 2019, the European Health Interview Survey [Európai lakossági egészségfelmérés, 2019 (referred hereinafter to as ELEF2019)]was conducted for the third time in Hungary. In this survey, the target population of the data collection also included the younger people. If the respondent had a child aged between 6 months and 14 years living in the same household, the data were also collected on this child. ('Az adatfelvétel végrehajtása')
According to the preliminary data (Tehetünk az egészségünkért – ELEF2019 gyorsjelentés), the Hungarian population aged 15 and over rated their own health on a five-point scale with an average of 3.7. 94% of 15-17-year olds rate their health as 'good' or 'very good'. The proportion of chronically ill people increases with age: only one-fifth of 15 to 17 year olds reported having a chronic, long-term, but among those 65 and older, the figure was 77%. One-tenth of 15-17 year olds had to follow a special diet because of food sensitivities or another illness. 16% of them were overweight or obese and 19% were slim.
Differences by gender
The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) (Egészség és egészségmagatartás iskoláskorában, 2014) is a cross-national survey that has been conducted since 1985 in Hungary. It aims to monitor the health-related habits and subjective health status of 11 to 17-year-old schoolchildren, to track temporal and international trends, and to investigate background factors for behavioural and health indices and their mechanisms of action.
The results of the 2014 survey show significant gender differences:
'In the full sample, girls consider their health acceptable or poor significantly higher than boys. But if we break down the data by age, we can see, that significant difference appears only in the 7th, 9th and 11th grades. In older age groups the ratio of those reporting of unfavourable health condition is also higher.' [Health Behaviour in School-aged Children 2014. (Egészség és egészségmagatartás iskoláskorban, 2014)
Differences by the level of education
There are also differences according to the level of education:
'Among those attending courses that do not provide for [school-leaving] qualifications, there are significantly fewer who consider their health status to be excellent (21.8%) than among students in high schools and vocational schools (26.2%); on the other hand there are more vocational school students who consider their health status to be acceptable (25.3% compared to the 17.6% of students in courses with school-leaving qualifications).' (Egészség és egészségmagatartás iskoláskorban, 2014)
Results of the Hungarian Youth 2020 survey
The results of the large sample youth survey conducted every four years in Hungary [Hungarian Youth 2020 (Magyar Fiatalok 2020)], show an improving tendency. However, satisfaction with health and physical appearance has slightly decreased in 2020 compared to the 2016 results. Three quarters of 15 to 29-year-olds were satisfied with their own health and well-being. Half of young people were completely or almost completely satisfied with their appearance in 2008, and this rate increased to 63% in 2020.
According to the preliminary data of the ELEF2019 (Tehetünk az egészségünkért – ELEF2019 gyorsjelentés), there were positive changes in smoking among boys compared to the previous surveys: 14.1% of boys (aged 15-17) smoked in 2019, and this rate was almost 25% among 15 to 18-year-olds in 2014. There was a slight increase among young girls: 16.4% of young girls smoked in 2019 and in 2014 this rate was 14% (among 15 to 18-year-old girls).
According to the ELEF2019 (Tehetünk az egészségünkért – ELEF2019 gyorsjelentés) survey, 97.4% of 15-17-year-old boys and 93% of young girls drinks rarely or never drink alcohol. These rates decrease with the age: among 18-34-year-olds the rate of those who drink alcohol rarely is 52.8% and 21.5% of those who never drink. Among the latest the proportion of women is higher.
In Hungary there is a widespread professional understanding of 'health information is a resource of the professional politics that is crucial to health planning, realisation and evaluation.' (European Health Information Initiative)
The focus of this chapter is on:
- governmental actions regarding youth health
- provisions and guidelines for sports and mental health
- healthcare measures regarding youth
- the improvement of mental health
- the treatment of mental illness.