Improving Older Adults’ Health Prevention Efforts

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Administration on Aging (AOA), and other partners have just released a new report that may help LGBT older adults’ programs target their health promotion efforts.

“Enhancing Use of Clinical Preventive Services Among Older Adults – Closing the Gap” looks at 15 key preventive and screening procedures that are recommended for older adults.  For eight procedures, state or national data is presented on how many older adults do and don’t receive the procedure, sometimes including state-by-state analyses and/or data on certain subpopulations.   (While the report mentions there are health disparities by demographic groups, including “sexual orientation,” it does not report on any of the studies that have looked specifically at LGBT older adults and their access to health care.)   The eight featured preventive services are: vaccinations that protect against influenza and pneumococcal disease; five screenings for early detection of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, lipid disorders, and osteoporosis; and one counseling service for smoking cessation.  Data wasn’t available to provide similar analyses of the remaining 7 recommended procedures: alcohol misuse screening and counseling, aspirin use, blood pressure screening, cervical cancer screening, depression screening, obesity screening and counseling, and zoster vaccination.

The report also includes some brief profiles of programs that have successfully increased older adults’ use of these key preventive and screening procedures; these may provide ideas to LGBT older adult programs that would like to undertake more health promotion activities.

You can download the whole 40-page report at http://www.cdc.gov/aging/pdf/Clinical_Preventive_Services_Closing_the_Gap_Report.pdf

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