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Open AccessArticle

Low Health Literacy and Mortality in Individuals with Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Diabetes, and Mental Illness: A 6-Year Population-Based Follow-Up Study

1
DEFACTUM, Central Denmark Region, 8200 Aarhus, Denmark
2
Department of Public Health, Section for Health Promotion and Health Services, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
3
Centre for Global Health and Equity, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne 3025, Australia
4
Health Promotion, Steno Diabetes Centre Copenhagen, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249399
Received: 28 September 2020 / Revised: 7 December 2020 / Accepted: 11 December 2020 / Published: 15 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Global Health Literacy)
Background: The objective of the study was to examine the impact of health literacy on mortality in the general population and among individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and mental illness. Methods: Data from a large Danish health survey (n = 29,473) from 2013 were linked with national mortality registry data to permit a 6-year follow-up. Results: Individuals reporting difficulties in understanding information about health, had higher risk of dying during follow-up (hazard rate (HR) 1.38 (95% CI 1.11–1.73)) compared with those without difficulties. Higher risk was also observed among people reporting CVD (HR 1.47 (95% CI 1.01–2.14)), diabetes (HR 1.91 (95% CI 1.13–3.22)) and mental illness (HR 2.18 (95% CI 1.25–3.81)), but not for individuals with COPD. Difficulties in actively engaging with healthcare providers was not associated with an increase in the risk of dying in the general population or in any of the four long-term condition groups. Conclusions: Aspects of health literacy predict a higher risk of dying during a 6-year follow-up period. Our study serves as a reminder to healthcare organizations to consider the health literacy responsiveness of their services in relation to diverse health literacy challenges and needs. View Full-Text
Keywords: health literacy; mortality; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; mental illness health literacy; mortality; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; mental illness
MDPI and ACS Style

Friis, K.; Aaby, A.; Lasgaard, M.; Pedersen, M.H.; Osborne, R.H.; Maindal, H.T. Low Health Literacy and Mortality in Individuals with Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Diabetes, and Mental Illness: A 6-Year Population-Based Follow-Up Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9399. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249399

AMA Style

Friis K, Aaby A, Lasgaard M, Pedersen MH, Osborne RH, Maindal HT. Low Health Literacy and Mortality in Individuals with Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Diabetes, and Mental Illness: A 6-Year Population-Based Follow-Up Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(24):9399. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249399

Chicago/Turabian Style

Friis, Karina; Aaby, Anna; Lasgaard, Mathias; Pedersen, Marie H.; Osborne, Richard H.; Maindal, Helle T. 2020. "Low Health Literacy and Mortality in Individuals with Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Diabetes, and Mental Illness: A 6-Year Population-Based Follow-Up Study" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 24: 9399. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249399

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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