Cost delays more U.S. adults' healthcare

Feb. 16, 2011 at 2:24 PM
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ATLANTA, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The number of U.S. adults ages 18-64 who say they delayed medical care due to cost rose from 11 percent to 15 percent from 1997 to 2008, officials say.

The 34th annual report "Health, United States," prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, available in print and online, says the percentage not receiving needed prescription drugs due to cost rose from 6 percent to 11 percent, and the percentage who say they did not receive needed dental care due to cost grew from 11 percent to 17 percent.

The report also says the percentage of adults age 45 and older who use a statin -- a cholesterol-lowering drug -- increased from 2 percent in 1988-1994 to 25 percent in 2005-2008. Half of men ages 65-74 took a statin drug in 2005-2008 compared with more than one-third of women in the same age group, the report says.

One-quarter of deaths occurred at the patient's home in 2007 -- more than in previous years. This "place of death" shift occurred both for people who were age 65 and younger as well as those who were age 65 and older. In 2007, 36 percent of deaths occurred in hospitals and 22 percent occurred in nursing homes, the report at www.cdc.gov/nchs says.

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