KDHE report says education, income, race and gender influence health risks
TOPEKA – The recently released state public health survey found that more than a third of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 had not been tested for cholesterol in the past five years.
But one of 10 Kansans in that age group who were tested had high cholesterol levels that could promote fatty deposits in blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease. Kansas’ overall five-year cholesterol testing rate soared to 85.5%, with a statewide positivity rate of 34.9% and the highest incidence among elderly, disabled, low-income and from minorities.
The wealth of information from the report produced by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment offered insight into medical and behavioral challenges based on 10,000 telephone interviews conducted throughout 2019. The survey since then the 1990s in Kansas with the support of nonprofit health foundations and American centers. for disease control and prevention addressed the incidence of cancer, stroke and obesity. It offered an update on access to health services, vaccinations and depression. The influence of excessive alcohol consumption and smoking was also examined.
“Having data to use helps us shape the efforts of many health programs in the state and partner with Kansans to improve their health,” Julie Sergeant, who leads the Kansas version of the Factor Surveillance System behavioral risks.
KDHE reported that one-third of Kansas adults in 2019 were diagnosed with hypertension, one-quarter with arthritis, one in 10 asthma, one in 13 with cancer, one in 25 with heart disease, and one in 33 stroke.
Thirty-five percent of Kansas adults in the survey were obese, despite a goal of reducing that figure to 30.5 percent. The incidence of obesity was generally influenced by income, race, education, and gender. The percentage classified as obese was 40.2% among people earning less than $ 15,000 per year and 35.3% among people earning more than $ 50,000 per year. Forty-five percent of blacks in Kansas were diagnosed with obesity, while the rate was 36.2% for Hispanics and 35.4% for whites. Men were more sensitive: 36.4% to 34%. In terms of education, high school dropouts had a rate of 31.9% and college graduates, 31.2%.
These figures found that one in four adults living in the state refused to participate in recreational physical activity.
Lee Norman, a doctor and KDHE secretary, said the study helped the state monitor the main contributors to premature morbidity and death. It has also served to help Kansas officials track health trends, measure public opinion and influence policy making, he said.
Obesity and smoking contribute to chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Programs designed to make behavior changes to reduce obesity and smoking could reduce the burden of these chronic diseases, KDHE said.
The KDHE study indicated that 16.2% of Kansans smoked cigarettes, with use highest among people with annual household income of less than $ 15,000. KDHE reported that a person who did not graduate from high school was more than five times more likely to smoke cigarettes than a person who graduated from college. A person with a disability was three times more likely to smoke than a person without a disability.
The report showed that smoking in Kansas fluctuated with age: 18-24, 13.2%; 25-34, 20.9%; 35-44, 21.6%; 45-54, 16.7%; 55-64, 18.3; and 65 years or over, 8.3%.
The KDHE report indicated that 87.6% of the Kansas population had medical insurance and the proportion with a usual primary care provider was 78.2% in 2019. Adults without a high school diploma were almost six times less likely to have health coverage than people with college. diploma.
Governor Laura Kelly has worked unsuccessfully to persuade the Kansas legislature to extend Medicaid eligibility to low-income Kansans who struggle to find affordable, quality health care.
The percentage of Kansas adults who refused to get a flu shot in the 12 months leading up to the 2019 survey was higher among those without health insurance, according to the survey. The report showed that 46.2% of adults not living in an institution were vaccinated against seasonal flu, which was well below the state’s target of 70%.
This type of reluctance to get vaccinated was evident during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021, where parts of the population declined coronavirus vaccines despite a wave of a more aggressive variant of the virus.
In terms of substance abuse, the percentage of Kansas adults who reported having engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days was higher for men than for women. The rate was 22.9% for men against 12% for women. The overall figure was 17.4%, according to the survey.
In the 2019 state survey, one in five Kansas adults reported being diagnosed with depression. Women were almost twice as likely to receive this diagnosis with women at 25.3% and men at 14.3%. Thirty-six percent of people earning less than $ 15,000 a year were medically depressed, while 15% of those earning $ 50,000 or more are said to be in this condition.