Nearly half of U.S. adults were not receiving key preventive health services before 2010
Increased use of clinical preventive services could save tens of thousands of lives
Only about half of U.S. adults received selected preventive services such as screenings, consultations and prescriptions, from a health care professional before 2010, according to a study by the
The study, Use of Selected Clinical Preventive Services Among Adults -
The report provides baseline data on the use of selected adult preventive services, including aspirin or other blood-thinning therapy, controlling blood pressure, screening for and controlling high cholesterol, and ending tobacco use. The report found:
Of patients with heart disease primarily affecting the blood vessels, only 47 percent were prescribed the recommended daily use of aspirin during visits to their doctors.
Similarly, despite strong evidence that screening and treating for high cholesterol reduces sickness and death due to heart disease, about 33.4 percent of men and 25.6 percent of women were not screened during the preceding 5 years. Of those adults identified with high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, only about 32 percent of men and 32 percent of women had it under control.
According to data from the
"Clinical preventive services prevent heart attack, stroke, cancer and other diseases and save lives," said CDC Director
The data could change in the future because of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These include a requirement for new private health insurance plans to cover recommended preventive services with no cost-sharing. The health care law also requires coverage for a new annual wellness visit under
In 2011, the Affordable Care Act provided approximately 54 million Americans with at least one new free preventive service through their private health insurance plans. An estimated 32.5 million people with
CDC has several programs in place to increase the use of and improve access to clinical preventive health services. They include Million Hearts initiative through which CDC and its partners work to provide effective treatment for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and tobacco addiction. The initiative works to increase the number of clinicians who deliver appropriate counseling on the use of aspirin and other blood-thinning therapies for patients at high risk of heart attack or stroke.