The New York Times online, Dec. 21, 2018
More than half of older Americans lack the skills to gather and understand medical information. Providers must simplify, researchers say.
By Paula Span
Most American adults — 53 percent — have intermediate health literacy, a national survey found in 2006; they can perform “moderately challenging” activities, like reading denser texts and handling unfamiliar arithmetic.
Just 12 percent rank as “proficient,” the highest category. About a fifth have “basic” health literacy that could cause problems, and 14 percent score “below basic.” Health literacy differs by education level, race, poverty and other factors.