Half of all Swiss over 15 years old now take at least one type of medicine weekly – far more frequently than in the past.
Statistics released by the Federal Statistics Office (FSO) on Thursday mark a jump in the pill-popping habits of Swiss citizens over the past decades. In 1992, 38% of the population took at least one medicine per week; by 2017 it was 50%.
Users are more likely to be female (55% of women medicate weekly, compared with 45% of men) and elderly (84% for those over 75), the FSO said in a press statement on Thursdayexternal link.
As for types of medication, painkillers are the most frequent – almost one-quarter of the population had consumed them in the week before the 2017 survey, double the 1992 amount.
Next most popular were medicines for hypertension (16%), cholesterol levels (8%), and heart issues (7%). Psychoactive medication usage did not significantly increase, with the exception of anti-depressants.
Though the reasons for the increasing figures are not fully known, the FSO did say that workplace stress could contribute to health and psychological problems. Some 20% of workers experience often or always stress on the job.
This said, the 22,134 Swiss who took part in the 2017 survey were largely happy with their situation: 85% reckoned themselves in good health, while 92% said their quality of life was good. Three-quarters said they were satisfied with their work.