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Too few people seek preventive health, report states
06.15.2012Most healthcare and wellness programs focus on the delivery of preventive medicine to keep people well. However, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that millions of people go without important preventive health services.
The agency found that many adults struggle to keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control, rarely receive smoking cessation counseling, have poor blood sugar management, miss vaccinations and forego important cancer screenings.
The report's authors said the findings indicate that millions of people could benefit from access to preventive health services. The procedures covered in the study are recommended for the majority of adults, so anyone who has proper insurance coverage should seek out the treatments.
Preventive services for cardiovascular health were among the most lacking. The report showed that less than half of all adults who have been diagnosed with heart disease take aspirin on a regular basis. About half of those with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Cholesterol levels were most troubling, as only 31 percent of adults with high cholesterol were actively managing their lipid levels.
"The findings of this report indicate that tens of millions of people in the United States have not been benefiting from key preventive clinical services, and that there are large disparities by demographics, geography and healthcare coverage and access in the provision of these services," the report states.
There is some reason for hope, however. The authors of the paper point to the Million Hearts Challenge, which is an initiative that seeks to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. This program could have a major effect on the number of people who seek regular preventive services.
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