October is Health Literacy Month, a perfect time to know more about why it’s so important to improve Health Literacy and ways in which you can increase your knowledge.
What is Health Literacy?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Literacy is the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.
Only about 12% of adults in the United States have good health literacy, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This means that about 88% of adults may lack the skills to manage their health and reduce their risk of disease and sickness.
Overall literacy may impact Health Literacy but people of all ages, cultures, education, and socio-economic levels can have challenges specifically with Health Literacy. This is critical knowledge that provides fundamental and key information leading to better overall health, disease prevention and patient outcomes. Additionally, a factor not to be overlooked is the economic impact that low Health Literacy rates have on the U.S. economy, estimated up to $236 billion every year. 1
8 Ways to Improve Health Literacy: