CDC: Most Adults Don’t Get Preventive Screenings for Common Diseases

Fewer than half of U.S. adults seek out crucial preventive care services, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report shows.

For instance, even though high cholesterol is strongly linked to heart disease and death from cardiovascular illness, over one-third of men and more than a quarter of women had not been screened in the past five years, the report, based on 2010 data, shows. In addition, one in five women ages 50 to 74 had not had a mammogram in the two years preceding the study.

Control of pre-existing conditions was also low. Just 47 percent of adults with heart disease had been prescribed daily aspirin to control their condition, while only 44 percent of adults with high blood pressure said they were keeping their symptoms in check, the report shows.

Preventive care is critical because it helps “prevent heart attack, stroke, cancer and other diseases and save lives,” says CDC director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D.

Uninsured and underinsured Americans had the lowest participation in preventive-care services across the board, the study shows. Nearly half of Americans were uninsured or underinsured  in 2010, research shows. Rates are at similar levels today.