he Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) study. The studies began collecting information in 1993 to determine how retirement impacts the health and wealth of U.S. men and women. The studies are funded by the National Institute of Aging. In the HRS, 12,652 participants aged 50 to 61 in 1992 have been interviewed periodically about their health behaviors, disease, disability and medical care usage. The AHEAD study, which collects similar data, includes 8,124 seniors aged 70 years and older.
Ostbye and his co-authors examined data on mammograms, Pap smears and influenza vaccinations because these preventive services have been shown to be effective in preventing serious illness. The U.S. government has also placed a high priority on these health care services in Healthy People 2010, which identifies the nation's most significant health concerns and formulates action plans to address these concerns. Healthy People 2010's goals include mammograms for 70 percent of middle-aged women every two years and Pap smears for 90 percent of middle-aged women every three years. Also, 80 percent of the elderly should be vaccinated against influenza annually, according to the goals.
The Duke analysis of the data showed that while the overall number of tests provided to study participants increased from 1995/1996 to 2000 the years included in the study the disparities between normal weight and obese people remained constant, Ostbye said.
In 2000, more than 78 percent of women with a normal BMI (18.5-24.9) received mammograms. Only 71 percent of women with a BMI above 40, which is "Class III" or severe obesity, received mammograms.
The difference between study participants was greater for Pap smears. In 2000, 73 percent of women with normal weight BMI received Pap smears, compared to less than 54 percent of women with a BMI greater than 40.
The researchers also found a significant decrease in the proportion of study participanPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Becky Oskin
Duke University Medical Center
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