October 31st, 2016

// Eyesight and Memory Loss are Leading Concerns Around Aging

Eyesight and Memory Loss are Leading Concerns Around Aging


Internationally, the top five physical conditions that people worry most about having, either now or as they age, are eyesight getting poorer, not being as mentally alert, lacking energy, having trouble taking care of themselves physically, and being unable to walk or drive. 

These are the findings from a GfK survey of the online population across 17 countries, which asked people which physical conditions they worry most about having, either now or as they age, from a list of 19 different conditions:

Eyesight getting poorer               38%
Not being as mentally alert / memory
loss                                  38%
Lack of energy                        36%
Having trouble taking care of
yourself physically                   34%
Losing mobility / unable to walk or
drive                                 33%
Experiencing body aches               30%
Gaining weight                        27%
Being more at risk for serious
diseases                              26%
Losing your hearing                   24%
Having digestive problems /
irregularity                          21%
Getting wrinkles, sagging / loose
skin                                  21%
Losing your hair or having your hair
get thin                              20%
Incontinence                          19%
Losing muscle tone                    19%
Losing your sexual drive              17%
Hair turning gray or white            16%
Developing age marks, scars or
noticeable veins                      15%
Menopause                             10%
None of these                         10%
The study reveals how widespread certain concerns are within different countries and between genders - information that manufacturers and retailers can use to better target their product placement and advertising.

For example, 38 percent of the international online population says "eyesight getting poorer" is a worry. But this rises to over half in Spain (53 percent), Mexico and Argentina (both 52 percent). Similarly, "not being as mentally alert" is a concern for 38 percent of people internationally, but is much wider concern in Spain (66 percent), Argentina (58 percent), Germany (52 percent), Mexico (51 percent) and Italy (50 percent).

Some countries also stand out as being more concerned about specific physical conditions compared to others. Russia is the only country surveyed where "losing your teeth" is a top five most popular concern, while in Japan and Korea "getting wrinkles or sagging skin" is in their top five. Japan also has "losing muscle tone" in their top five, which again does not feature in other countries' top five.

Differences between men and women are also seen. Both genders have the same top five physical concerns around aging - although in slightly different order. However, looking further down the list, far more men than women worry about "losing sexual drive" (22 percent men; 11 percent women) - and far more women than men are worried about "getting wrinkles or sagging skin" (32 percent women; 11 percent men).

Download the full results for all 17 countries: http://www.gfk.com/global-studies/global-study-overview/

About the study

GfK's online survey interviewed over 22,000 consumers aged 15+ across 17 countries. Fieldwork was completed in summer 2016 with data weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population aged 15+ in each market: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA.


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