NCHS Data Brief
Number 57, January 2011
Health Insurance Affects Diagnosis and Control of Hypercholesterolemia and Hypertension Among Adults Aged 20-64: United States, 2005-2008
Susan E. Schober, Ph.D.; Diane M. Makuc, Dr.P.H.; Cindy Zhang, M.D., M.P.H.; Jocelyn Kennedy-Stephenson, M.S.; and Vicki Burt, Sc.M., R.N.
pdf file: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db57.pdf
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2005-2008
* Nonelderly adults with health insurance were more likely to have had a test for high cholesterol in the past 5 years compared with those with no insurance.
* Hypercholesterolemia was undiagnosed among almost one-half of nonelderly adults with the condition who lacked health insurance-about twice the percentage for those who had insurance.
* Hypertension was undiagnosed among about 40% of nonelderly adults with that condition who lacked health insurance-about twice the percentage for those with insurance.
* Control of hypercholesterolemia and hypertension was also negatively affected by lack of health insurance, primarily due to the greater prevalence of undiagnosed conditions among those without insurance.
Lack of health insurance presents a barrier to obtaining routine preventive care and early diagnosis and management of chronic conditions. In 2005-2008, approximately 23% of adults aged 20-64 had no health insurance. Hypercholesterolemia (high total cholesterol or taking medication to lower cholesterol) and hypertension (high blood pressure or taking medication to lower blood pressure) are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, particularly when untreated and uncontrolled (1,2) and are common among nonelderly adults. In 2005-2008, 23% of adults aged 20-64 had hypercholesterolemia and 23% had hypertension. The objective of this report is to quantify the association between health insurance coverage and the diagnosis and control of hypercholesterolemia and hypertension among persons with those conditions. The criteria used to define these conditions are provided in the “Definitions” section of the report.
Keywords: health care access, high total cholesterol, high blood pressure, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
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