Here at the Colorado Health Institute, we embrace our nerdy tendencies. This is why we’re excited to see that in honor of National Public Health Week – an initiative of the American Public Health Association – every day has a new “Public Health Nerd” theme and graphic. The public health nerd theme even has its own Twitter hashtag (#PHNerd).
Wednesday’s theme – Get out Ahead – was all about prevention. Seven in 10 deaths in the United States are related to preventable diseases, so the American Public Health Association is advocating collaboration among providers to inform patients of preventive options.
At CHI, one way we are monitoring prevention is by measuring preventive care visits. The Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS) asks respondents who have visited a doctor at least once in the 12 months prior to the survey if any visits were for a check-up, physical examination or other preventive care.
In 2013, 61.9 percent of Coloradans who saw a doctor said at least one visit was for preventive care. Among 19- to 29- year-olds, the rate was 42.4 percent – the lowest percentage among the reported age groups.
We also see differences among Coloradans of different races and ethnicities. Non-Hispanic blacks were the least likely to report a preventive care visit at 50.2 percent. For Hispanics, the rate was 54.3 percent. Sixty-six percent of non-Hispanic whites who saw a doctor said at least one visit was for preventive care.
About half (51.3 percent) of Coloradans with incomes below the federal poverty level ($23,550 for a family of four in 2013) who saw a doctor in 2013 reported a preventive care visit.
You can find updates of new CHAS analysis by keeping up with CHI on Twitter @cohealthinst and using #2013CHAS. Follow the remaining National Public Health Week events on Twitter using #NPHW and #PHNerd.