In this section, national initiatives which have been set up in Austria can be found.
Austrian Health Interview Survey
On behalf of the Austrian BMG (Federal Ministry of Health) and the Austrian Health Agency, Statistik Austria conducted an Austrian-wide survey on the subject of “Health” from October 2013 to June 2015. The “Österreichische Gesundheitsbefragung 2014” is the first health survey according to new European standards for an extensively harmonised health survey every five years. In this way the comparability of data between the individual countries was improved.
A total of 15,771 randomly selected people aged 15 and above were interviewed about their state of health, health-related behavior and use of health services.
Positive result: Life expectancy with good health has increased.
The most commonly named illnesses are chronic low-back pain and other chronic pain problems. Women are affected by arthritis, depression, chronic headache and urinary incontinence more often than men. There has been an increase in the number of women daily smokers.
Chronic low-back pain
1.8 million people stated that they had suffered from chronic low-back pain or other chronic back problems in the last twelve months (men: 23 %, women: 26 %).
The incidence of these health problems increased considerably with advancing age. Whilst one in ten adolescents and young adults suffered from low-back pain, one in three 60-74 year old was affected. In older age groups it was even 43%.
The gender-specific differences are only slightly pronounced in younger and middle aged groups, in the over 75 year-olds every second woman complained of back pain and even one in three men.
Chronic neck pain
Almost one fifth of the population suffered from chronic neck pain or other chronic symptoms of the cervical spine (19%). Women are affected by this problem more often than men (23% and 14% respectively). The incidence of these symptoms increases up to middle age, whereby the differences according to gender still remain. In 45-year olds and above the 12 month prevalence was 20% (men) and 30% (women).
About 10% of the men and 15% of the women said they were affected by both back and neck pain.
Chronic headache is a health problem that appears particularly in young and middle-aged women. 11% of women aged below 60 years, but only 4% of men in the same age group stated that they had suffered from chronic back pain within the last 12 months. In the age group 60 years and above the prevalence was 7% for women and 3% for men.
Pain is a wide-spread health restriction and for those affected it means impairment of well-being and quality of life. In addition to the question on 12-month prevalence of chronic back, neck or headache pain the occurrence of physical pain was asked in the last four weeks.
3.6 million people stated that they had had pain in the last four weeks. Women suffered
more frequently from pain than men (54% and 45% respectively). Elderly people complained not only more often about pain, but also more often with increasing age about severe to very severe pain.
The number of people who suffered from (very) slight pain, only increased slightly with age (graph 6 page 25) and was in the course of age 22% to 29%. Whilst 5% of the men and 8% of the women aged from 15 to 29 years of age complained of moderate pain, one in five men and one in four women aged 75 years and above was affected by this. One man in ten aged 45 years and above reported (very) severe pain. The highest prevalence is that of (very) severe pain in women aged 75 years and above (20%).
How often and severely does pain impair those affected in carrying out daily activities in the house and at work? One third of those people who said they had pain in the last four weeks, did not feel restricted at all, a further third felt slightly restricted. 19% of the people with pain were moderately restricted in their daily activities; 10% and 4% of these person groups felt very and extremely restricted respectively. The more severe the pain, the greater the restrictions were in daily life.
People with (very) severe pain estimated their quality of life considerably lower than those without pain (graph 7, page 26). This applies in particular to the general quality of life and physical state.
For further information see http://www.bmg.gv.at
Many projects and initiatives were conducted in Austria by patient organisations, HCP-organisations and governmental institutions.