Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low health literacy associated with higher rate of death among heart failure patients, study suggests

Date:
April 26, 2011
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
An examination of health literacy (such as understanding basic health information) among managed care patients with heart failure, a condition that requires self-management, found that nearly one in five have low health literacy, which was associated with a higher all-cause risk of death, according to a new study.

An examination of health literacy (such as understanding basic health information) among managed care patients with heart failure, a condition that requires self-management, found that nearly one in five have low health literacy, which was associated with a higher all-cause risk of death, according to a new study.

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals can obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions, as defined by the Institute of Medicine. According to background information in the article, many U.S. citizens and as many as 1 in 3 Medicare enrollees have low health literacy. Heart failure is a common and complex chronic disease with a high risk of illness and death. "Although patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, much care for heart failure is performed on a daily basis by individual patients outside of the hospital. This self-care requires integration and application of knowledge and skills. Therefore, an adequate level of health literacy is likely critical in ensuring patient compliance and proficiency in self-management. Little is known about the association between health literacy and outcomes among patients with heart failure," the authors write.

Pamela N. Peterson, M.D., M.S.P.H., of the Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, and colleagues evaluated the association between low health literacy and all-cause mortality and hospitalization among a population of outpatients with heart failure. The study included patients with heart failure of an integrated managed care organization who were identified between January 2001 and May 2008, were surveyed by mail and underwent follow-up for a median (midpoint) of 1.2 years. Health literacy was assessed using three established screening questions and categorized as adequate or low. Responders were excluded if they did not complete at least 1 health literacy question or if they did not have at least 1 year of enrollment prior to the survey date.

Of the 2,156 patients surveyed, 1,547 responded (72 percent response rate). Of 1,494 included responders, 262 (17.5 percent) had low health literacy. Patients with low health literacy were older, of lower socioeconomic status, and less likely to have at least a high school education. They were also more likely to have coexisting illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic pulmonary disease, and stroke.

There were a total of 124 deaths during follow-up, with 46 deaths (17.6 percent) in the low health literacy group and 78 (6.3 percent) in the adequate health literacy group. There were a total of 366 hospitalizations during follow-up, with 80 hospitalizations (30.5 percent) in the low health literacy group and 286 (23.2 percent) in the adequate health literacy group. After adjusting for demographic variables, socioeconomic status, education, comorbid conditions, year of cohort entry, and left ventricular ejection fraction (a measure of how well the left ventricle of the heart pumps with each contraction), low health literacy was independently associated with an increased risk of mortality. In adjusted models, low health literacy was not significantly associated with all-cause hospitalization.

The authors suggest that routine assessment of health literacy may help to identify a greater number of patients at risk for adverse outcomes.

"In conclusion, this study demonstrates that even among those with health insurance and access to health information, low health literacy as assessed by 3 brief screening questions is associated with higher mortality. This finding supports efforts to determine whether interventions to screen for and address low health literacy can improve important health outcomes in patients with heart failure," the researchers conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pamela N. Peterson et al. Health Literacy and Outcomes Among Patients With Heart Failure. JAMA, 2011;305(16):1695-1701 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.512

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Low health literacy associated with higher rate of death among heart failure patients, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110426161526.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2011, April 26). Low health literacy associated with higher rate of death among heart failure patients, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110426161526.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Low health literacy associated with higher rate of death among heart failure patients, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110426161526.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins