Armenian Health Behaviour in School-aged Children report launched

The results of the Armenian national study on Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) 2013/2014, launched in May 2016, revealed a number of issues regarding physical and mental health among Armenian adolescents. In line with most other countries in the European Region, the study showed a lack of physical activity, and revealed Armenia as the country in the HBSC with the highest rate of daily consumption of sweets reported at 60% by the respondents. The number of males who smoke increased dramatically from 15 to 17 years of age. These data are associated with the prevalence of chronic noncommunicable diseases among the adult population.

Less than 30% of teens reported having seen an adolescent health specialist in the preceding year; nearly half of the survey participants had not visited a dentist in the preceding year.

On the positive side, the majority of adolescents acknowledged that they like their school. Family culture is also rather unique: 79% of surveyed adolescents reported living with both parents and a significant proportion of adolescents reported communicating easily with both parents. Armenia had the highest prevalence of physical fights among males in the participating countries, a matter of concern. More than 90% of teenagers are satisfied with their life, which is the highest in the international survey; however, the level of satisfaction declines with age.

Analysis of the survey data enables identifying the areas in adolescent health and behaviour that require the most attention and the need for further public health interventions in schoolchildren, adolescents and young people.

The survey was conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science, the State Committee of Science, the Ministry of Health of Republic of Armenia, WHO, the United Nations Population Fund Armenia Country Office and the HBSC research network.

Survey data was collected in 2013/2014, and then processed by the HBSC International Coordinating Centre. For the first time, 17-year-old students were included in the HBSC survey. On the whole, 4813 students aged 11, 13, 15 and 17 years from 146 schools and colleges were surveyed.