This report examines self-reported longstanding conditions among adults and children in England, using data from 2017 and 2018. It compares the prevalence rates of different types of conditions and how these vary across different demographic and socio-economic groups and by overall health status.
- 43% of adults aged 16 and over had at least one longstanding condition.
- The most common types were conditions of the musculoskeletal system (17%); conditions of the heart and circulatory system (11%); mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental conditions (9%); diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic conditions (8%); and conditions of the respiratory system (8%).
- Most conditions increased in prevalence with age. For example, musculoskeletal conditions affected 5% of those aged 16 to 24, but this increased to 40% of those aged 85 and over. Mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental conditions did not follow this pattern; prevalence decreased with age, from 12% of those aged 16 to 24 to 2% of those aged 85 and over.
- In adults aged under 45, the most common type of longstanding conditions were mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental conditions, followed by musculoskeletal and respiratory conditions. In adults aged 45 and over, musculoskeletal conditions were most common, followed by heart and circulatory conditions, then diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic conditions.
- Adults with longstanding conditions assessed their health less positively; had worse health status were more likely to have probable mental ill health; and had higher prescribed medicine usage than those without such conditions.
- Longstanding conditions were less prevalent among children than adults, varying with age from 7% of infants aged 0 to 1 to 20% of children aged 10 to 15. Across age groups, respiratory diseases (5%) were most common, followed by mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental conditions (4%).
Download the tables for this report here.