DH releases Population Health Survey Report (Part II)
The PHS 2020-22 is the third territory-wide population health survey. Conducted between November 2020 and February 2022, it is comprised of a household survey and a health examination. The survey interviewed more than 16 000 land-based non-institutional persons aged 15 or above from more than 7 400 domestic households in Hong Kong, and among them over 2 000 respondents further completed the health examination. Part I of the PHS 2020-22 was published last December and presented findings from household interviews, while the Part II report released today presents the survey findings from the health examination.
The PHS found that chronic health conditions such as being overweight (BMI (Body Mass Index) ≥ 23, 22 per cent) and obesity (BMI ≥ 25, 32.6 per cent), hypertension (29.5 per cent), diabetes (8.5 per cent), and hypercholesterolaemia (51.9 per cent) remained prevalent among the population aged 15 to 84 in Hong Kong. High salt intake (above the World Health Organization (WHO)'s recommended limit of less than 5 grams per day, 83.9 per cent) and inadequate potassium intake (below the WHO's recommended limit of 3.5 grams per day, 90.9 per cent), as risk factors for chronic health conditions such as hypertension, are also common.
Being overweight and obesity are risk factors for developing common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension and cancers. The prevalence of being overweight and obesity is observed to have increased from 50 per cent in the PHS conducted in 2014-15 to 54.6 per cent in the PHS this round, which may be associated with the significant increase in the prevalence of physical inactivity as shown in Part I report of the PHS 2020-22.
Hypertension is also a major cardiovascular risk factor. If left uncontrolled, it can cause NCDs such as heart attacks, strokes and renal failure. The prevalence of hypertension is 29.5 per cent as compared to 27.7 per cent in the PHS conducted in 2014-15. Being overweight, physical inactivity, high salt intake and inadequate potassium intake associated with insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption all contribute to the incidence of hypertension. Among those with hypertension, more than 40 per cent were not aware of having raised blood pressure until attending the PHS health examination. Other cardiovascular risk factors like diabetes and hypercholesterolaemia were also found in a similar situation with respectively 36 per cent and 70 per cent of the patients unaware of their conditions.
In addition, the PHS adopted the Framingham risk model to predict the risk of cardiovascular outcomes including coronary heart diseases, strokes, peripheral artery diseases and heart failure. Among persons aged 30 to 74, the mean cardiovascular disease risk in the next decade is 11.4 per cent, i.e. among every 1 000 persons in that age group, 114 of them may suffer from the above cardiovascular diseases in the next decade.
The PHS Part I findings also revealed the prevalence of other unhealthy lifestyle practices among the Hong Kong population, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, in addition to insufficient physical activity and inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables, which are also important risk factors for developing common NCDs including cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes.
"For prevention of NCDs including cancer, members of the public should lead a healthy lifestyle, such as maintaining sufficient physical activity, having a balanced diet (including adequate consumption of fruit and vegetables), keeping a healthy body weight, not smoking and avoiding alcohol consumption. Persons with chronic diseases should maintain regular follow-ups by health care professionals, and the general public should seek medical advice when necessary for health assessments, prompt disease detection and timely management," a spokesman for the DH said.
The PHS aims to strengthen the Government's information on the population health and support effective and evidence-based decision-making in health policy, resource allocation and provision of health services and public health programmes. The spokesman said that successful prevention and control of NCDs rely on collaborative efforts of various stakeholders from different sectors of society. The DH will continue to work with relevant government bureaux and departments, and the public health community as well as engaging the general public in adopting a healthy lifestyle.
For access to the Report (Part I and Part II), please visit www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/37474.html.
Ends/Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:29
Issued at HKT 11:29