Toronto, 19.12.2016

Among Symptoms of Aging, Loss of Mental Agility and Mobility Cause Greatest Concern among Canadians

Canadian women express much higher levels of worry in new GfK research

In just-released GfK research, Canadians’ concerns about key symptoms of aging were higher than global averages, with four in ten Canadians saying they are worried about

• not being mentally alert/losing their memory (43%),
• losing mobility/being unable to walk or drive (42%), and
• having trouble taking care of themselves physically (40%).

By contrast, global averages did not rise above 38% for any of the 19 ailments or conditions covered by the survey. Across the 17 countries measured, concerns were highest around eyesight getting poorer (38%), mental alertness and memory loss (also 38%), and lack of energy (36%).

Canadian women are also much more worried about symptoms of aging than Canadian men. Among women, six conditions scored above the 40% level, with “not being mentally alert/memory loss” mentioned by half (50%) of all Canadian female respondents. By contrast, the top worry among Canadian men (“loss of mobility/unable to walk or drive”) was cited by just 37%. Being able to take care of oneself physically and loss of mental alertness or memory tied for second among the men, at 36% each.

Download the complete findings for each of the 17 countries.

Four of the top five aging concerns were the same for Canadian men and women, though in slightly different order. When it comes to “gaining weight,” far more Canadian women than men are concerned (45% for women; 29% for men – not even in their top five); similarly, when it comes to “losing mobility,” Canadian women are more worried than men (47% for women; 37% for men).

Men, women also differ on global level

Globally, women’s levels of concern about aging were higher than men’s – but the differences were not as dramatic as in Canada. The top worry among women worldwide was loss of mental alertness or memory, mentioned by 42%; the leading concern for men globally was “eyesight getting poorer,” cited by 37%.

Overall, eight symptoms scored at the 30% level or higher among women in the 17 countries surveyed, compared to just five for men. 

Countries with high levels of concern

Concerns about vision are highest in Spain (53%), Mexico, and Argentina (both 52%) – the only countries surveyed where more than half of respondents said they were worried about this condition. Mental health is a prevalent concern in Spain (66%), Argentina (58%), Germany (52%), Mexico (51%), and Italy (50%).

About the study

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

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit or follow GfK on Twitter:

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