Health Survey for England (HSE)
The Health Survey for England (HSE) is a series of annual surveys about the health of people living in England. The survey started in 1991 and has been carried out annually since then. It is commissioned by The Health and Social Care Information Centre. Since 1994, the survey has been carried out by the HSE team of the Health and Social Survey Research group at the Department of Epidemiology at UCL with NatCen Social Research. The survey is used to help plan NHS services, look at ways of improving people’s health and changes to the nation’s health over time, and at inequalities in health.
HSE includes adults aged 16 and over, and since 1995 has also included children aged 2-15. From 2001 onwards, the survey covers all ages, but certain age groups are asked questions on certain topics only. Information about children aged under the age of 13 is obtained from a parent, with the child present and obtained directly from persons aged 13 years and over.
An interview with each eligible person in the household is followed by a nurse visit for those who agree to take part. The HSE includes a set of core questions, asked each year on general health and psycho-social indicators, smoking, alcohol, demographic and socio-economic indicators, questions about use of health services and prescribed medicines and measurements of height, weight and blood pressure.
Each year, there is also a particular focus on a population
group, disease or condition. Topics are repeated at appropriate
intervals in order to monitor changes with time. Examples to date are:
• the health of children, young people, and infants and mothers in 1997 and 2002
• asthma, accidents, and disability in 1995 and 1996
• cardiovascular disease in 1993, 1994, 1998, 2003, 2006 and 2011
• attitudes and beliefs in 2007
• physical activity and fitness in 2008 and 2012
• the health of older people in 2000 and 2005
• the health of minority ethnic groups in 1999 and 2004
• respiratory health and lung function in 1999, 2000 and 2010
• kidney disease in 2009 and 2010
• sexual health in 2010
• wellbeing in 2010 and 2011
The most recent Health Survey for England 2011
The 2011 survey focused on cardiovascular health including blood pressure). Adults and children were asked modules of questions including general health, chronic pain, social care, wellbeing, alcohol consumption (weekly, on the heaviest drinking day in the previous week, and through keeping a diary), smoking, and self-reported height and weight, in additionto physical measurements and biological samples.
- Craig R, Mindell J (eds) (2012) Health Survey for England 2011, London: The Information Centre.
- Craig R, Mindell J (eds) (2011) Health Survey for England 2010, London: The Information Centre.
- Craig R, Hirani V (eds) (2010) Health Survey for England 2009, London: The Information Centre.
- Craig R, Mindell J, Hirani V (eds) (2009) Health Survey for England 2008, London: The Information Centre.
- Craig R and Shelton N (eds) (2009) Health Survey for England 2007. London: The Information Centre.
- Craig R and Mindell J (eds) (2008) Health Survey for England 2006. London: The Information Centre.
- Craig R and Mindell J (eds) (2007) Health Survey for England 2005. London: The Information Centre.
- Sproston K and Mindell J (eds) (2006) Health Survey for England 2004. London: The Information Centre.
The datasets for the Health Survey for England are available through the ESRC Data Archive at Essex University which is the largest national resource of computer readable copies of social science and humanities data in the United Kingdom.
Further information can be obtained from:
The Data Archive
University of Essex
Essex CO4 3SQ
Telephone 01206 872001
Fax 01206 872003
The full set of questions for the Health Survey for England 2002 are held on the Question Bank at the Centre for Applied Social Surveys. The questions and measurements are also available at the EU Health Survey Information Database (EUHSID).
In 2011, the Health Survey for England was part of the pilot European Health Examination Survey (EHES).
Page last modified on 25 oct 13 10:22