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Glossary:European health interview survey (EHIS)

Health interview surveys offer comprehensive data on the health status of a population and health-related topics based on answers by respondents of a representative sample of the population. The European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) includes information from all European Union (EU) Member States and is to be conducted every five years according to the Regulation (EC) No 1338/2008 on Community statistics on public health and health and safety at work.

The first wave of EHIS was conducted under a gentlemen’s agreement and implemented in 17 Member States between 2006 and 2009. EHIS wave 2 was conducted in all EU Member States between 2013 and 2015 according to the Regulation (EU) No 141/2013 as regards statistics based on the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS). The third wave was conducted in 2019 in accordance with the Regulation 0255/2018.

EHIS covers the following topics:

  • Health status (self-perceived health, chronic diseases, limitation in activities, mental health, pain, accidents, etc.)
  • Health determinants (smoking and alcohol consumption, body weight, physical activity, dietary habits, etc.)
  • Health care (use of different types of health care services including hospitalizations, consultations, prevention, use of medicines but also unmet needs for health care).

EHIS is used as a data source for important health and social policy indicators such as the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI) or indicators of the health and long-term care strand developed under the Open Method of Coordination on social protection and social inclusion (EU social indicators).

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