Menu Close

Which diseases does the Polish population fear the most?

According to research, health is one of the most important values in life for the Poles. Widespread accessibility of knowledge, growing popularity of engaging in regular exercise and sports and following a balanced diet mean we are all becoming ever healthier.

However, there are certain diseases that keep the majority of the population awake at night. The IBRiS Market and Social Research Institute was commissioned by the Santander Consumer Bank’s Health Academy to draw up a report on the most feared health problems.

What are we most scared of? Respondents most often named the following diseases:

  • 67.5% – cancer,
  • 40% – stroke,
  • 20.8% – coronary artery disease,
  • 17.9% – diabetes,
  • 12.2% – depression,
  • 11.4% – atherosclerosis,
  • 11.1% – hypertension,
  • 3.6% – obesity,
  • 2.4% – rheumatism.


Another interesting question put forward in the study was: What are the main causes of lifestyle diseases? This particular group includes: atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and hypertension. The responses provided show that the Polish population’s health awareness is now evolving. The contributing factors named most frequently were stress and poor diet. One in three respondents stated that air pollution was most at fault, while physical inactivity came only fourth.


The position occupied by cancer on the list is not in the least surprising, but cancer is actually not the cause of the highest number of deaths in Poland or worldwide. As reported by the Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS), members of the Polish population usually die because of cardiovascular diseases. The mortality rate for this disease in the country is up to as much as 70% higher than in other EU states. Still, it is comforting to know that the number of deaths resulting from cardiovascular diseases is dropping. Professionals attribute this to the fact that people are attaching increasing importance to disease prevention, living active lives and changing their poor eating habits.

The factors leading to cardiovascular diseases include overweight, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, smoking, lack of regular physical exercise, and alcohol abuse. There is not much we can do about our genetic predispositions, however we can easily eliminate most risk factors.


Interestingly, obesity rarely appeared in the respondents’ responses (only 3.6% of people are afraid of it the most). However, this grave metabolic condition is not to be underestimated. Doctors warn that it can lead to a number of complications, and it contributes to development of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases – it is like a snowball for our bodies. It is not by accident that it is called “the mother of all diseases”.

Epidemiological data show that the issue of excess weight (overweight and obesity) already affects more than half of the adult Polish population. 68% of men and 53% of women in Poland are overweight. Obesity, which is a consequence of increasing overweight, is already affecting 25% of the population. Predictions for the future are very alarming. Should the Polish population fail to change its lifestyle, 30% of men and 26% of women in our country will suffer from obesity by 2025.

This is also an issue that affects children. As many as 44% of boys and 25% of girls are overweight, while 13% and 5% are already obese, respectively.


Even if the growing awareness of the need to keep a healthy lifestyle is noticeable, we are still waiting to see its positive effects at a larger scale. Our population as a whole is afraid of numerous diseases, however, at the same time we tend to belittle the early symptoms. Meanwhile, the introduction of a balanced diet, regular physical activity and preventative measures could positively affect a great many conditions.

Facing the challenges that come with an aging population and increasing morbidity, the state-run healthcare system can be extremely inefficient. We are already dealing with record-breaking length of queues to consultants, not to mention the waiting lists for surgical procedures and operations. And yet another factor that contributes to the sorry state of the state-run healthcare system is the shortage of available consultants.

This is where the private health insurance sector can be of assistance. Policyholders are able to use the services of consultants without restrictions and avoid queues.

MediSky International has introduced an innovative solution to the Polish market, which guarantees that those covered by our insurance have access to medical assistance in any chosen facility in Poland and other states across the European Union. This is what distinguishes the product from other health insurance options available to Polish customers. Access to treatment in foreign facilities may prove necessary for a number of medical conditions and whenever a given surgical procedure or operation cannot be performed in Poland.

Similar Articles