CNA News

Cyprus had lowest share of memory problems in EU, higher for risk of poverty

Cyprus had the lowest percentage of people who reported moderate or severe difficulty with remembering or concentrating in 2022, at 5.7% compared to 14.9% estimated in the EU, according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical service of the European Union.

However, the percentage of people reporting these issues in Cyprus was significantly higher among persons that ran the risk of poverty.

The highest shares of people facing difficulties in remembering or concentrating were recorded in Finland (33.6%), Denmark (26.7%), the Netherlands (26.0%), Sweden (25.2%) and Estonia (24.9%).

The lowest percentages were reported in Cyprus (5.7%), Malta (6.5%), Ireland (7.3%), Bulgaria (7.9%) and Hungary (8.0%).

According to the same data, memory and concentration issues were more frequent among people who were at risk of poverty people. Among those not at risk, at EU level, 13.9% reported such difficulties, whereas the figure increased to 19.9% for people at risk of poverty.

Some EU countries recorded disparities exceeding 20 percentage points (pp) in reported difficulties with remembering and concentrating between individuals at risk of poverty and those not at risk.

This difference was significant in Cyprus, and stood at 8.3 pm (4.6% among those who were not at risk of poverty and 12.9% among those that were).

The highest gap was recorded in Croatia at 23.9 pp (16.2% of those not at risk of poverty reporting difficulties in remembering or concentrating, compared with 40.1% for people at risk of poverty) while in Estonia it was 21.2 pp (19.4% compared with 40.6%).

Significant differences were also observed in Latvia (16.2 pp), Sweden (15.8 pp) and the Netherlands (14.3 pp).

Difficulty in remembering or concentrating covers a variety of problems with cognitive functions including a person’s difficulty in finding their way around or not being able to concentrate on what they’re doing, or forgetting where they are or what month it is. A person who has cognitive difficulties may not remember what someone has just said to them or seem confused about or frightened by several things. However, difficulties remembering or concentrating because of common everyday situations such as a high workload or stress, or as a result of substance abuse are not included in the scope.