Two thirds of over 50s consider themselves in good health in Luxembourg
Self-rated health is the perception that individuals have of their health at a given moment. This perception includes physical (illness, pain) as well as mental health. Self-rated health is therefore a subjective measure that can be influenced by socio-economic and cultural factors.
66% of Luxembourg residents over 50 believe they are in good health
The SHARE survey, conducted in Luxembourg in 2013, revealed that 66% of Luxembourg residents over 50 consider themselves in good health. However, Luxembourg is not at the top of the ranks of the countries participating in the SHARE survey. 75% (on average) of those residing in Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden declared themselves in good health. By contrast the over 50s of Spain and Estonia less often consider themselves in good health at 57% and 31% respectively.
Numerous factors explain the deterioration in self-rated health with age
The older the individual, the worse the perception of his/her health. In Luxembourg, 73% of residents aged between 50 and 59 declared themselves to be in good health, in comparison with 67% of 60-69 year-olds and 56% of those older than 70. The deterioration of self-rated health is closely linked to the deterioration of people’s physical and mental health. Other factors also influence the perception of individuals, particularly living conditions, social relationships, activities, level of education and behavioural risks, such as tobacco or alcohol consumption.
Self-rated health is the perception that individuals have of their health at the time they answer the following question: "Would you say that your health is excellent, very good, good, acceptable or poor?". This question covers both an evaluation of physical health, i.e. illness or pain, and mental health. Self-rated health is therefore a subjective measure which can be influenced by socio-economic and cultural factors. Nevertheless, the OECD considers this to be one of the most meaningful indicators of the well-being of individuals, as it enables forecasts to be made of changes in healthcare consumption and mortality (Miilunpalo et al., 1997).
The SHARE survey, a European survey on health, ageing and retirement among those aged 50+, conducted for the first time in Luxembourg in 2013, focused on this topic (for more information, click here). In Luxembourg, 66% of residents aged 50+ consider themselves to be in excellent, very good or good health. However, Luxembourg is not at the top of the ranks of countries participating in the SHARE survey: 83% of those aged 50+ residing in Switzerland declared themselves to be in good health. For countries with the same mean age, this figure is 74%, 66% and 59% respectively among our Belgian, French and German neighbours, well ahead of the 31% of Estonians who consider themselves to be in good health.
Unsurprisingly, the older the individual, the worse the perception of his/her health becomes. In Luxembourg, 73% of residents aged between 50 and 59 declare themselves to be in good health, compared with 67% of 60-69 year-olds and 56% of older aged 70+. This situation is similar in neighbouring countries (France and Belgium), although they more frequently consider themselves in good health, irrespective of age category. Thus, 81% of people between 50 and 59 who live in Belgium and 79% of those who live in France consider themselves to be in good health. For the 60-69 category, these values are equal to 78% in Belgium and 72% in France respectively. Among the older aged 70+, the figures are 63% in Belgium and 49% in France. Concerning Germany, the perception of its residents is more negative, with 67% of 50-59 year-olds claiming they are in good health, compared with 63% of 60-69 year-olds and less than 50% of those aged 70+.
The deterioration of self-rated health with age is closely linked to the deterioration of people's physical and mental health. Other factors also influence the perception of individuals, particularly their living conditions, social relationships, activities, level of education and behavioural risks such as tobacco or alcohol consumption, for example.
 OCDE (2011), « État de santé général perçu », dans Panorama de la santé 2011 : Les indicateurs de l'OCDE, Éditions OCDE. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/health_glance-2011-12-fr
 Miilunpalo S, Vuori I, Oja P, Pasanen M, Urponen H. Self-rated status as health measure: the predictive values of self-reported health status on the use of physician services and on mortality in the working-age population. J Clin Epidemiol 1997; 50(5):517-528.
 En 2013, 15 pays ont participé à l’enquête SHARE: l’Autriche, l’Allemagne, la Belgique, le Danemark, l’Espagne, l’Estonie, la France, Israël, l’Italie, le Luxembourg, le Pays-Bas, la République Tchèque, la Slovénie, la Suède et la Suisse
 Les items « excellente, très bonne et bonne santé » ont été regroupés en un seul : « bonne santé ».
 Germaine Gagnon, « L'influence de l'état d'esprit sur l'état de santé ». Thèse-Université Laval, 1995. Bibliogr.: p. -56.
 Claude Raynaut, Tatiana Engel Gerhardt et Eleusis R. Nazareno, « Pauvreté, inégalités économiques et disparités de santé : conditions de vie et stratégies d'acteurs », Face à face [En ligne], 4 | 2002, mis en ligne le 01 juillet 2002, consulté le 25 février 2016. URL : http://faceaface.revues.org/489.
 Marc Ferland et al., « L'influence des facteurs sociaux sur la santé et le bien-être. » (1994) Québec, Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 1994, 370 pages.
Luxembourg residents aged 50+
SHARE survey, wave 5, 2013, LISER calculations
In 2013, 66.2% of residents of Luxembourg aged 50 and over considered themselves to be in good health.