Healthcare News & Insights

Report: Low health literacy can be deadly

Patients who have less complete understanding of the health issues they face have worse health in general and higher death rates.

That not entirely surprising news comes from a recent report by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (downloadable PDF).  The study found that low health literacy led to poor outcomes for all adults, but was particularly harmful to older patients.

Low health literacy was also related to a number of other public health issues, such as low rates of flu vaccination and increased use of the emergency room.

The report indicates that educating patients about health care in general, and the medical issues they are at risk of/currently coping with is an important part of making sure they comply with medical advice and get needed clinical care.

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