Launch of a large health survey with Luxembourg residents

2019 - 01 - 24

On 21st January 2019, the Luxembourg Ministry of Health announced the launch of a nationwide survey that will be conducted in collaboration with LIH’s Department of Population Health to assess the health of the Luxembourg population. It is a new wave of the European Heath Interview Survey (EHIS), a study following a standardised methodology defined by Eurostat and performed all over the European Union.

Survey data is being collected and will be analysed to better understand the current state of health of Luxembourg residents. Major aims of EHIS are to evaluate the outcome of health policies and facilitate the adaption of the health system to the needs of the citizens. Moreover, an analysis at the national level of the evolution of the results over time and a comparison of the results with those of other European countries will be possible. Indeed, EHIS provides a high degree of comparability of data between all EU member states.

In Luxembourg, 18,000 men and women aged at least 15 and residing in private households will be randomly selected from the national register and invited to participate with an official letter from the Directorate of Health. The survey will be carried out throughout the year 2019. The selected persons will be asked to complete an online questionnaire on the website (or alternatively a paper questionnaire), available in German, French, Portuguese and English. It is composed of four parts: health status, the use of healthcare services, health determinants and socio-economic characteristics. The questionnaire does not include the name, date of birth or address of participants.

Participation is not mandatory, but it is highly valuable to provide the most accurate vision on the health status of the Grand Duchy’s residents. The higher the number of participants, the more the data will reflect the true state of the resident population's health.

A similar survey was conducted in 2014 by the Ministry of Health and LIH on a representative sample of the general population aged at least 15, obtained following the dispatch of 16,000 letters. Among the main findings, the survey revealed that nearly 70% of participants rated their health as “good” or “very good”, more than one in three people reported being limited in their activities for at least six months due to a health problem, 20.5% were smokers and 40.6% consumed alcohol at least once a week (compared to a mean of 29.6% in the EU).

The previous and the present study are under the scientific coordination of Dr Maria Ruiz-Castell, researcher at the Epidemiology and Public Health Research Unit at LIH’s Department of Population Health. The EHIS team includes Jessica Barre (biostatistician), Cathy Fousse (administrative assistant), Dr Sophie Couffignal (medical investigator) and Alexandru Munteanu (IT Specialist).

The results of the previous EHIS study are available as fact sheets on the Health Portal of the Ministry of Health: