Functional health literacy and the risk of hospital admission among Medicare managed care enrollees

Am J Public Health. 2002 Aug;92(8):1278-83. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.8.1278.

Abstract

Objectives: This study analyzed whether inadequate functional health literacy is an independent risk factor for hospital admission.

Methods: We studied a prospective cohort of 3260 Medicare managed care enrollees.

Results: Of the participants, 29.5% were hospitalized. The crude relative risk (RR) of hospitalization was higher for individuals with inadequate literacy (n = 800; RR = 1.43; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.24, 1.65) and marginal literacy (n = 366; RR = 1.33; 95% CI = 1.09, 1.61) than for those with adequate literacy (n = 2094). In multivariate analysis, the adjusted relative risk of hospital admission was 1.29 (95% CI = 1.07, 1.55) for individuals with inadequate literacy and 1.21 (95% CI = 0.97, 1.50) for those with marginal literacy.

Conclusions: Inadequate literacy was an independent risk factor for hospital admission among elderly managed care enrollees.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Educational Status*
  • Ethnic Groups / education
  • Female
  • Health Education*
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Managed Care Programs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Health