Addressing Disparities in Health Literacy
Who is at risk for low health literacy?
- Race and ethnicity: Studies have shown that some ethnic groups have more barriers to accessing institutions and tools that promote health literacy, which can result in limited proficiency.
- English language proficiency: Adults who learn English as a second language or read below national average levels can experience difficulty understanding health information, much of which is designed for native English speakers with proficient literacy.
- Age: Adults older than 65 have significantly less proficient health literacy than their younger counterparts.
- Educational attainment: Low academic achievement is directly linked to low rates of health literacy, while rates increase with each successive level of education.
- Socioeconomic status: Income level can influence the type and level of health care coverage for Americans and their families, as well as access to transportation, education and materials that increase health literacy.