A study conducted by DAK-Gesundheit on the subject „The fear of illnesses” showed that young Germans tend to fear illness more than the older generation.
People between the age of 14-29 experience more anxiety related to mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders and burnout. 4 out of 10 young responders are afraid of it, whereas among the older generation, only 1 out of 5 expressed concern about it.
Which is the most dreaded disease?
As in the previous years, cancer remains the number one disease people fear most (69%). At 69%, 2 out of 3 respondents are afraid of cancer.
Top 10 most dreaded diseases:
- Cancer (69 %)
- Alzheimer/Dementia (49 %)
- Stroke (45 %)
- Accident resulting in injuries (43 %)
- Heart attack (38 %)
- Severe eye disease (33 %)
- Mental illnesses (30 %)
- Severe lung disease (21 %)
- Diabetes (16%)
- STDs, such as AIDS (11 %)
(Source: Forsa-Umfrage 2019 im Auftrag der DAK)
Other interesting findings
- More than half rated their health condition as „good” and almost every third as “very good”, whereas only 12% see it as “bad”.
- With the exception of heart attack, women fear all the above diseases more often than men, especially those related to cancer, alzheimer and dementia.
- Although, they showed less anxiety of disease than the young, out of the ten respondents, people over 60 expressed more concern than those under 30, regarding dementia and stroke. The reason is that at the moment there is no cure for it and that they will eventually rely on the help of others.
- Young people fear it too, but mainly because it is not curable.
Preventive measures and research
- To prevent illnesses, a large majority of respondents stated that they exercise regularly (83%). 77% are light drinkers, 75% pay attention to their diet, 70% do not smoke and 69% turn to meditation and other relaxation techniques.
- 58% of all participants of the survey with 2814 respondents said they had a cancer screening (mainly women) and 43% went to health checks.
- Women implement these measures more often than men and the difference is also visible in terms of alcohol consumption and balanced nutrition.
- People over 30 research illnesses more often than those under 30 and try to engage in activities good for one’s mental health.