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AMA Contributes to CDC's New Online Tool to Address Gaps in Preventive Health Services for Adults Ages 50-64

Recent AMA, AARP, CDC study finds adults 50-64 underuse health screenings and immunizations

For immediate release:
April 7, 2010

Statement attributable to:
Edward Langston, MD
AMA Board Member

“With only a quarter of adults ages 50-64 getting recommended preventive health screenings, the American Medical Association (AMA) is proud to contribute to CDC’s new online interactive tool that highlights and compares national, regional, state, and local community data on the use of preventive services among adults 50-64.

“We are pleased to support this important resource that can help health care professionals and institutions make preventive services more accessible for adults ages 50-64. This online tool can help local communities identify how often adults ages 50-64 receive recommended preventive services, such as staying up to date with mammography, and flu and pneumonia vaccinations.

“In addition to mammography and immunizations, other important preventive health services for adults 50-64 include screenings for cholesterol and colorectal cancer, and addressing alcohol abuse, tobacco use, high blood pressure, depression and obesity. Keeping up with preventive health screenings and immunizations can help detect and prevent many life-threatening and costly health problems early on when they could be treatable.

“The information used to create this online CDC tool is based on a recent AMA, AARP and CDC report. The report highlights model programs, such as Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC), WiseWoman, and the Johns Hopkins Family Heart Study, which recommend bringing preventive services to locations where community residents can be easily reached. For example at worksites, community centers, places of worship, polling places and barber shops.

“Seventy-five percent of the total health care spending in the U.S. is linked to chronically ill patients. Many chronic health problems are preventable, and if we can help Americans live healthier, we can reduce disease and decrease health care spending. Effective screening, counseling, vaccinations, and other recommended preventive services should be a routine part of health care for all Americans. The report is a user-friendly and a valuable tool to view and compare preventive health services data with easy links to related topics.”

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For more information, please contact:                           

Leah Dudowicz
(312) 464-4813
leah.dudowicz@ama-assn.org

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