Low health literacy linked to poor health in older adults

April 15, 2011

Your older patients with low health literacy are likely to be in worse health and face a higher risk of death, concludes a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service?s (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

 

Your older patients with low health literacy are likely to be in worse health and face a higher risk of death, concludes a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

More than 75 million English-speaking adults have poor health literacy, making it difficult for them to use and understand basic health information. The report, an update of findings from more than 100 new studies, found an association between low health literacy and more frequent use of hospital emergency rooms and inpatient care.

Researchers also found links between poor health literacy among women and the underuse of mammograms. Last year HHS launched the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy to address such problems.

See the study here.