Everyone is afraid

Every third German is afraid of COVID-19

Hamburg, November 13th, 2020. Every third German citizen is currently afraid of being infected with the corona virus. That is the result of a representative survey * by the Forsa Institute on behalf of DAK-Gesundheit. The virus worries older people in particular: Almost every second person over the age of 60 is afraid of COVID-19. Nationwide it is 37 percent. Nevertheless, eight percent of Germans do not observe the corona protection rules.

For ten years, the Forsa Institute for DAK Health has been regularly investigating fear of illness in Germany. Most Germans fear cancer again this year, at 72 percent. Alzheimer's / dementia and accidents with severe injuries share places 2 and 3, each with 55 percent. This is followed by the fear of a stroke (51 percent), a heart attack (47 percent) and a serious eye disease up to blindness (45 percent). As people get older, the fear of developing Alzheimer's or dementia and suffering a stroke or heart attack increases.

Fear of lung disease increases
Against the background of the second corona wave, the fear of a serious lung disease is much more pronounced than in the past ten years. One in three (32 percent) is currently afraid of a lung disease. In 2019 it was 21 percent. Also noticeable: the higher the level of education, the lower the fear of COVID-19. More than one in two people with a secondary school diploma is afraid of the coronavirus, but only a good one in three with a high school diploma. Overall, women (41 percent) are more likely to fear COVID-19 than men (32 percent). The fear is greatest in North Rhine-Westphalia (41 percent), least in northern Germany (33 percent).

Women pay more attention to health than men
Germans generally feel healthy: the clear majority (89 percent) rate their state of health as good (61 percent) or very good (28 percent). In the 14 to 29 year olds it is even 94 percent. Women are more active in the area of ​​prevention. For example, 73 percent of German women take part in preventive cancer examinations. In men it is only 47 percent. In order to prevent illness, Germans mainly exercise regularly (80 percent) and pay attention to a balanced diet (78 percent). In the context of the corona pandemic, the proportion of non-smokers has increased: 74 percent of Germans do not smoke to protect their health. Over the past ten years, the average has been 67 percent.

Germans are most afraid of these diseases:

  1. Cancer (72 percent)
  2. Alzheimer's / dementia (55 percent)
  3. Accident with serious injuries (55 percent)
  4. Stroke (51 percent)
  5. Heart attack (47 percent)
  6. Severe eye disease (45 percent)
  7. COVID-19 (37 percent)
  8. Mental illness (33 percent)
  9. Severe lung disease (32 percent)
  10. Diabetes (20 percent)
  11. STDs (12 percent)

* The Forsa Institute carried out a nationwide and representative survey of 1,003 men and women for DAK-Gesundheit on October 29 and 30, 2020.