They examined cases of heart failure from 2001 to 2008, surveying patients by mail. The patients were also followed for a median of 1.2 years. Health literacy was assessed using well-established screening questions and categorized as either “adequate” or “low”. Then researchers looked at hospitalization and mortality for all causes.
The survey response rate was 72% (1547 of 2156); 17.5% of responders had low health literacy. Low health literacy was associated with:
- Increased age
- Lower socioeconomic status
- Less likelihood of having at least a high school education
- Higher rates of co-morbidities
This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 2011; 305(16):1695-701 (ISSN: 1538-3598).