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2014 Conference

April 9–11, 2014

Intercontinental, Milwaukee, WI

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Health Literacy and Health Status of Older Adults

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 11:45 AM–12:45 PM CDT
Short Abstract

Older adults are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Older adults 65 years or older numbered 41.4 million in 2011 and represented 13.3% of the U.S. population. By 2030, there will be nearly 72.1 million older Americans, representing 19% of the U.S. population (Administration on Aging, 2012). A substantial proportion of older population has one or more chronic conditions (Wolff, 2002). The complexities associated with managing comorbidities, and the cognitive and sensory deterioration associated with aging poses challenges for this subpopulation. Lower levels of health literacy, defined as an individual’s limited ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions (Institute of Medicine, 2004), further complicates management of chronic conditions. This study examined the relationship between health literacy and health status in individuals age 55 and over using data from the 2010 Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Specifically, this study examined the effect of health literacy on health status, controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, health insurance coverage, health behavior, and health care utilization factors.

First & Corresponding Author

Vibha Bhargava, PhD,

Add'l Authors In The Order To Be Printed

Gong-Soog Hong, PhD, Iowa State University