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Midlife Adults Not Getting Recommended Preventive Services

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Midlife Adults Not Getting Recommended Preventive Services


Midlife adults who receive recommended preventive services and engage in healthy behaviors are more likely to remain healthy and function independently in old age. Yet, according to a new AARP Public Policy Institute report, two-thirds of Americans aged 50-64 are not up-to-date with certain recommended preventive services.


Underuse of Preventive Services Tied to Determinants of Health


The report highlights that underuse of preventive services among midlife adults is an even greater problem for those of low socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic minorities, and the uninsured. Uninsured women aged 50-64 were one-third as likely to be up-to-date with select clinical preventive services as insured women aged 50-64 (10 percent vs. 33 percent).

These vulnerable groups are also more likely to experience risk factors for poor health. For example, 62 percent more low-income midlife adults than high-income midlife adults reported ever having high blood pressure (57 percent vs. 35 percent).


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Improves Access to Health Insurance Coverage and Preventive Care


As of September 23, 2010, most insurers pay the full cost of recommended preventive services.

Starting in 2014:


What More Can We Do to Improve Use of Preventive Services?


Read the new PPI report, “Use of Clinical Preventive Services and Prevalence of Health Risk Factors among Adults Aged 50-64: National and State-Level Racial/Ethnic, Socioeconomic, and Health Insurance Coverage Status Disparities,” to learn more about these important public health issues and potential solutions.

See where your state ranks. Use the online tool, State Preventive Care Rankings for Midlife Adults, to customize prevention and health risk factor data to rank states and examine disparities as well as compare state performance to national averages and national target rates.

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Megan Multack, M.P.H., is a policy research senior analyst for the AARP Public Policy Institute.