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Americans may not be as healthy as they believe, study says

Many think others can improve their health habits.

As insurance premiums swell, many Americans who believe they are healthy are dropping their plans.

They may want to think again, according to a recent survey by GE Healthcare, The Cleveland Clinic and Ochsner Health System. A majority of respondents said that other peoples’ health was worsening, while only 17 percent felt theirs was. Most health-care professionals surveyed gave Americans poor scores, a C or lower, for managing their personal health.

“Either people are denying reality about themselves or they don’t have the correct knowledge and believe they are doing the right things,” said study author Dr. Michael Roizen, chairman of The Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute.

Most respondents did not know their body mass index, cholesterol, blood pressure or glucose levels, but said that these were important factors in maintaining good health. Seventy percent of respondents took measures to avoid visiting physicians, while 95 percent said regular checkups were important, according to the report.

Increased communication between patients and doctors may improve health and reduce future medical costs. Health insurance plans can differ based on billing technique, out-of-pocket costs and choice of provider.ADNFCR-2378-ID-19624844-ADNFCR

Posted: February 18, 2010

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