CDC: Preventive Health Services Underused Before 2010

Underutilized services include cholesterol screening, BP control, smoking cessation assistance

THURSDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Prior to 2010, only about half of all U.S. adults received key preventive health services, according to a report published in the June 15 supplement of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

In the first of a series of surveillance supplements to monitor and report on progress in increasing the use of clinical preventive services, Ralph J. Coates, Ph.D., of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues describe the underutilization of these services from 2007 to 2010, prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Among the researchers' findings: fewer than half of heart disease patients were prescribed daily aspirin use during doctor visits; only about one-third of men and one-quarter of women were screened for high cholesterol in the last five years; fewer than half of adults with high blood pressure had their condition under control; and fewer than one in 13 smokers were prescribed medications to assist with tobacco cessation.

"Clinical preventive services prevent heart attack, stroke, cancer, and other diseases and save lives," CDC director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement. "This report provides a snapshot of preventive services for U.S. adults before 2010. As we look to the future, we can track how our nation's health is progressing through better prevention in health care."

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