Only about 1 in 4 Americans aged 50–64 regularly take advantage of preventive services such as screenings and immunizations, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with AARP and the American Medical Association (AMA).
The report, “Promoting Preventive Services for Adults 50–64: Community and Clinical Partnerships,” focuses on opportunities to improve the health of the growing number of adults in the 50–64 age bracket to broaden the use of potentially lifesaving preventive services.
The report identifies recommended preventive services such as influenza vaccine, cholesterol screening, breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as preventive screenings for behaviors that could negatively impact health such as binge drinking.
“People aged 50–64 need access to preventive services to help them improve their overall health and to live vibrant, productive lives,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “CDC and our partners AARP and AMA are excited about this new resource because it enables our partners and others to more easily and effectively monitor improvements in health behaviors, screenings and immunizations. Our goal is to enhance the delivery and use of these recommended preventive services.”
By 2015, an estimated 63 million U.S. adults will be between the ages of 50 and 64, comprising 20 percent of the nation′s population. They are at greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer than younger adults. Almost one–third of adults in this age group are uninsured or underinsured, which heightens the challenges of ensuring they receive critical preventive services.
Wayne Giles, M.D., M.S., director of CDC′s Division of Adult and Community Health, and a member of the committee that prepared the report, emphasized the importance of addressing disparities in the use of preventive services. “The racial and ethnic composition of adults in the United States is becoming more diverse. We must take this trend into
account as we promote the use of clinical preventive services to ensure that appropriate strategies are implemented to improve the health of all adults.”
The report describes proven, science–based strategies that highlight clinical and community efforts to promote the delivery of multiple or bundled preventive services. The report also highlights model programs, policies and strategies that communities can adopt, in concert with health care partners, to make sure services reach those in need. Calls to Action identify existing gaps and barriers in research, data and action, and highlight opportunities through model programs, policy and environmental strategies, and enhanced health tracking.
CDC′s healthy aging program develops tools and programs designed to help older adults live longer, more productive and independent lives. By promoting health and disease prevention, CDC works to improve the quality of life of older adults and slow the expected growth of health care and long–term costs for this and future generations.
To view the full report and for more information about CDC′s health aging activities visit www.cdc.gov/aging.