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June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent study finds middle-income Americans on average give themselves about a 1-in-5 chance of being diagnosed with a critical illness in the next three years and a 1-in-2 chance of being diagnosed with a critical illness within the next 20 years.
Middle-Income America's Perspectives on Critical Illness and Financial Security study, commissioned by Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions (IWS), surveyed 1,001 Americans ages 30 to 66 with an annual household income of between
$35,000 and $99,999.
The IWS study found that those who feel more vulnerable in the short term—with a perceived diagnosis risk greater than 50% over the next three years—tend to have lower income, fewer resources and poor health. Those who consider themselves highly vulnerable to critical illnesses are more likely to:
Be lower income— 52%
Be uninsured— 21%
Be unemployed— 13%
Consider themselves to be in poor/fair health— 22%
Have had a meaningful conversation about caregiving options in case of a critical illness— 50%
Health concerns vs. health choicesAlthough the study reveals that middle-income Americans are aware and concerned by the risk of critical illnesses, for themselves and their families, not enough are regularly engaged in health-promoting activities:
49% engage in physical activity
47% eat healthy foods
43% get eight hours of sleep
37% see a dentist
While more than three-fourths of middle-income Americans have a personal healthcare provider whom they see at least annually, fewer seek regular preventative care. Only one-third received a flu shot in the past six months (during the flu season), less than two-thirds of women 40 and older received a mammogram in the past two years, and only about half of all middle-income Americans older than 50 have had a colonoscopy.