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Press release
Trends and Forecasting|Global Study|Global|English

Eyesight and memory loss are leading concerns around aging

Nuremberg, 28.10.2016

Nuremberg, October 28, 2016 – 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.

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).

To download full findings for each of the 17 countries, please visit www.gfk.com/global-studies/global-study-overview/

Leading concerns around aging: 17 country comparison

Leading concerns around aging: international overview

About the study

The survey question asked: “Which of these physical conditions do you worry most about having, either now or as you age?”:

  • Having trouble taking care of yourself physically
  • Developing age marks, scars, or noticeable veins
  • Lack of energy
  • Eyesight getting poorer
  • Hair turning gray or white
  • Losing muscle tone
  • Not being as mentally alert/memory loss
  • Menopause
  • Getting wrinkles, sagging/loose skin
  • Losing your teeth
  • Gaining weight
  • Experiencing body aches
  • Being more at risk for serious diseases
  • Losing your hearing
  • Losing your sexual drive
  • Losing your hair or having your hair get thin
  • Having digestive problems/irregularity
  • Incontinence
  • Losing mobility/unable to walk or drive
  • None of these
  • Not sure

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