-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many chronically ill
Americans take less of their medicines than they should or skip
them entirely so they can afford to eat, a new study reveals.
Researchers looked at data from nearly 9,700 adults with chronic
illness who took part in the U.S. National Health Interview
About 23 percent of them had trouble affording prescribed
medications, nearly 19 percent struggled to put sufficient food on
the table and 11 percent had both problems, the study authors
Difficulty affording medicine and food was most common among
Hispanics and blacks, people with numerous chronic health problems
and those without insurance, according to the study published in
the current issue of
The American Journal of Medicine.
The findings indicate that many chronically ill Americans are
having a difficult time and action is required to help them, said
lead investigator Dr. Seth Berkowitz of Massachusetts General
Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
He and his colleagues noted that many of the people in the study
with incomes 100 to 200 percent above the federal poverty line had
trouble affording food and medicine. People in this income range
may not be eligible for government assistance. Public officials
should consider that when they set eligibility rules for assistance
programs, the authors pointed out.
Assistance programs "targeted to under-resourced groups who may
face 'treat or eat' choices could produce substantial health gains
for these vulnerable patients," Berkowitz concluded in a journal
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about
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