Number of people reporting good health falls slightly

Number Of People Reporting Good Health Falls Slightly
Research as part of the Healthy Ireland initiative found 80 per cent of people rated their health as being good or very good this year, down from 82 per cent in 2022. Photo: PA Images
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Muireann Duffy

A slight decline in the number of people who rate their health as good has continued, according to the latest Healthy Ireland report.

Each year, research is carried out to give an overview of the nation's health, examining topics such as alcohol, smoking, drug use, mental health issues, suicide awareness and general health.


Respondents were asked 'How is your health in general?', and their answers were recorded using a five-point scale, from very bad to very good.

This year, 80 per cent of people rated their general health as good or very good, down from 82 per cent in 2022. The rate among women was marginally behind that of men, at 79 and 81 per cent respectively.

Results from past surveys show this rate has been falling since 2019, when 85 per cent said their general health was good or very good.

On the other end of the scale, just 4 per cent said their health was bad or very bad.


Drink, drugs & cigarettes

The survey also found that 70 per cent of people over 15 reported drinking alcohol in the past 12 months, down from 75 per cent 2018, with 38 per cent stating they overdrink at least once a week.

Alcohol consumption was higher among men (73 per cent) compared to women (67 per cent), while the report found 24 per cent of the population are considered binge-drinkers, meaning they consume six or more standard drinks in a typical sitting.

Meanwhile, the portion of the population who smoke has remained steady at 18 per cent, made up of 14 per cent who are daily smokers and 4 per cent occasional smokers.

The rates of daily smoking was higher for men across all age categories except the over 75s, with similar results reported for occasional smokers.


One third of the population are now ex-smokers, while 49 per cent of those who have smoked in the past year said they have tried to quit, 23 per cent of whom successfully did so.

Use of e-cigarettes was recorded as 8 per cent, with a further 12 per cent stating they had tried them in the past but no long use them.

The group with the highest prevalence of e-cigarette use was women in the 15-24 age category, 20 per cent of whom used such devices.

Usage of e-cigrarettes generally was highest among people under 25, with 18 per cent reporting themselves as current or occasional users, down from 21 per cent in 2022.

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