General mental and physical health
This chapter explores two interrelated topics, self-reported mental health, as assessed by the General Health Questionnaire, or GHQ-12, and self-reported general health, as assessed using the EQ-5D questionnaire.
- Women were more likely than men to report a GHQ-12 score of 4 or more, indicative of probable mental ill health, 18% and 12% respectively.
- The prevalence of probable mental ill health was lowest among men aged 16-34, at 9%.
- The prevalence of probable mental ill health was greatest among men and women with the lowest household income, 24% and 27% respectively, compared with 7% of men and 16% of women with the highest income.
- There was a strong relationship between mental health and self-reported general health.
- There were no significant changes in prevalence of a high GHQ-12 score between 1995 and 2012.
- Across the five general health dimensions, problems were most commonly reported for pain or discomfort and anxiety or depression.
- Older people reported more problems on all general health dimensions; the effect of age was strongest for mobility and weakest for anxiety/depression.
- Significantly more men than women reported the absence of general health problems, 63% of men and 55% of women overall.
- The proportion of participants who reported no general health problems decreased from 72% of men and 62% of women in the highest income group, to 48% of men and 46% of women in the lowest income group.