Health Examination Survey [HES]

Last updated on 16-3-2018 by Daisy Tysmans
January 1, 2017
December 31, 2019

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In short

In a Health Examination Survey (HES) objective health information is collected among a representative sample of the total population, including those who have no contact with health services. The collection of objective health measures at population level is particularly important for items that are often not accurately reported in a health interview survey (e.g. height and weight) and for diseases that may be present without any symptoms but have important health consequences (e.g. high blood pressure or high cholesterol level in the blood). The data from HES are essential for solid health policy development based on the population’s needs.

Project summary

In 2018 the sixth Belgian Health Interview Survey (HIS) will be organised. Information on the health status, lifestyle, health care use and socio-demographic characteristics will be collected among a representative sample of 11.300 people residing in Belgium.

From March 1st 2018 onwards, eligible HIS participants will be invited to participate also in a HES. Respondents are eligible if they are at least 18 years and have participated in the HIS themselves (no proxy interview). It is planned to include 1.100 respondents who agree to participate; they will be visited at home by a trained nurse.  A pilot study to test the data collection will be organised in the first quarter of 2018.

The HES will include a short additional questionnaire, a physical examination and the collection of a blood sample. The physical examination consists of the measurement of height, weight, waist circumference and blood pressure. Laboratory blood analyses include the measurement of glucose and cholesterol in the blood. The results will be transferred to Sciensano in a coded way, ensuring that participants cannot be identified. Through a unique identification code it will be possible to link the HES data with information from the same people that is obtained in the HIS.

A comprehensive report on HES based indictors, in function of the several socio-demographic indicators (age, gender, education) will be published.

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