Cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s: The Germans are less and less afraid
The fear of cancer, dementia and other serious diseases has become weaker according to a Forsa survey.Nevertheless, 65 percent said they were afraid of a malignant tumor.
In 2010, 73 percent of respondents at that time had feared that they had cancer. Last year, it was 69 percent, as the DAK announced in Hamburg. The number of people who are afraid of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s was even more pronounced. In 2010 and 2016, 50 percent of those surveyed had expressed this concern, and now it was only 39 percent.
According to the representative survey, the fear of a stroke or a heart attack, an accident involving serious injuries or serious eye disease also fell significantly. A similar tendency was found in the question of the fear of mental illness, severe lung disease or diabetes. Fear of a sexually transmitted disease such as Aids expressed only 9 percent (2010: 14 percent).
Reason could be the good medical care
The cause of the trend could not explain the health insurance. “If necessary, there is a connection with the good medical education and a trust in modern medicine,” said DAK doctor Elisabeth Thomas. It is clear, after all, that the vast majority of people in Germany feel healthy. According to the survey, 88 percent rate their health as good or very good.
The health insurance company complains that, at the same time, the number of people who take part in a preventive medical check-up, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet is decreasing.
How it is about the actual health of the Germans
In the DAK Health Report 2017 it turned out that the total sickness has dropped; if only slightly. The year 2016 was evaluated. In this period, the sick leave rate of the insured was 3.9 percent, compared with 4.1 percent the year before. It is therefore unlikely that this slightly positive trend alone is responsible for the lessened fear of serious illnesses.
The main cause of sick leave last year were disorders of the musculoskeletal system (22.2 percent), mental illnesses (17.1 percent) and diseases of the respiratory system (14.7 percent). These impairments together accounted for 54 percent of the total sickness.
Striking in the previous year was the increase in mental illness. These were first in second place as the cause of sick leave.
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