2018-12-06Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/6000
Health literacy in men and women with cardiovascular diseases and its association with the use of health care services - Results from the population-based GEDA2014/2015-EHIS survey in Germany
Background Health literacy (HL), defined as the ability to access, understand, appraise and apply health information, offers a promising approach to reduce the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and to improve the management of CVD in populations. Design We used data from nationwide cross-sectional German Health Update (GEDA2014/2015-EHIS) survey. 13,577 adults ≥ 40 years completed a comprehensive standardized paper or online questionnaire including the short form of the European Health Literacy Survey Questionnaire (HLS-EU-Q16). Methods We compared participants with and without CVD with regard to their HL. We also analyzed the association between HL level and health care outcomes among individuals with CVD, i.e. frequency of general practitioner or specialist consultations, hospitalization and treatment delay. Results The percentage of “problematic” or “inadequate” HL, defined as “not sufficient” HL, was significantly higher in individuals with CVD compared to without CVD (men 41.8% vs. 33.6%, women 46.7% vs. 33.4%). Having CVD was independently associated with “not sufficient” HL after adjusting for age, education, income, health consciousness and social support (adjusted OR: men 1.36, women 1.64). Among participants with CVD, individuals with “inadequate” HL were more likely to have more than 6 general practitioner consultations (49.3% vs. 28.7%), hospitalization (46.6% vs. 36.0%) in the last 12 months and to experience delay in getting health care because of long waiting lists for an appointment (30.7% vs. 18.5%) compared to participants with “sufficient” HL. Conclusion “Problematic” or “inadequate” HL is independently associated with CVD and health care use. This is a challenge and an opportunity for both CVD prevention and treatment.
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