Thursday, March 26, 2015

Poll: Kentuckians health varies by age, income

Self-reported health status of Kentucky adults varies by age and income.

That’s according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Cincinnati-based Interact for Health. As in past years, KHIP data reveal higher income adults report better health status.

KHIP highlights include:

  • Just more than 4 in 10 (41 percent) of Kentucky adults describe their health as excellent or very good.
  • More than 5 in 10 (52 percent) adults age 45 and younger consider their health as excellent or very good while only 33 percent of those over age 45 report excellent or very good health status.
  • Only 3 in 10 (29 percent ) of adults who earn 200 percent of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) or below reported excellent or very good health status; 55 percent of adults who earn more than 200 percent FPL indicated excellent or very good health status.

Since KHIP began capturing data in 2008, Kentucky adults with higher incomes have consistently reported better health status than those with lower incomes. A majority of Kentucky adults living above 200 percent FPL reported being in “excellent” or “very good” health each year since 2008. This compares with about 3 in 10 Kentucky adults living at or below 200 percent FPL in those years. Overall, the percentage of Kentucky adults reporting their health as “excellent” or “very good” has dropped significantly from almost half (49 percent) in 2008 to only 4 in 10 (41 percent) in 2014.

“KHIP provides important data regarding the connections among a person’s age, earnings level and perceived health status,” said Susan Zepeda, President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “By asking the same question year to year, we can spot trends in perceived health. The latest results are an important reminder of the links between poverty and poor health.”

KHIP was conducted Oct. 8 to Nov. 6, 2014, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,597 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone, including landlines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent.