What is EHES?
European Health Examination Survey (EHES) is an initiative to set up a system of standardized, representative health examination surveys (HES) of the adult population of the European countries. Health examination surveys include questinnaire(s) as well as physical measurements, such as blood pressure, and collection of biological samples such as blood or urine. In the background is a demand by countries and the European Commission for evidence about the health and health risks of the population. This is needed for the planning and evaluation of health policies and preventive actions. Health and health risks, which predict future health, are key issues for keeping the work force fit for work and to minimize the need for health care for the aging population.
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Why EHES is needed?
Information about the health and health risks of the population is one of the corner-stones of prevention. It is needed for evidence based planning and evaluation of health policies and preventive activities. Some of population level information, such as mortality, can be obtained from registries. Some can be obtained from interview surveys, such as the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS), which is being developed under the leadership of EUROSTAT. A third data source, which complements registries and interview surveys, by providing information which cannot be obtained objectively or at all from other sources is a health examination survey (HES). This concerns information in blood pressure, blood cholesterols, blood glucose, which is an indicator of diabetes, and objective information on obesity.
EHES provides health indicators of major public health problems, such as prevalence of high blood pressure and diabetes in the population, which cannot be obtained, at least with a reasonable cost, through any other data source. Therefore, it is complementary to registries (such as cause of death registries and health service registries) and health interview surveys (such as EHIS - the European Health Interview Survey).
See Kuulasmaa K, Tolone H (Prepared). What is EHES and why it is needed? National Institute for Health and Welfare, 2013. Dicussion_Paper 2013_007. URN:ISBN: 978-952-245-844-5, URL: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-245-844-5 for more information.