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Healthy lifestyles and the education gap

BY Jim Frederick

Attention, community pharmacists! How well do you know your patients?

A new study from a Canadian sociologist sheds new light on the health habits of middle-aged Americans, and asserts that those with higher educational levels are significantly more likely to pursue healthier behaviors than their less-educated peers.

The study, authored by Rachel Margolis, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Western Ontario, and published in the September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, shows that college-educated Americans between the ages of 50 years and 75 years are much less likely to smoke and are more likely to stay physically active than those with a high school education or less. As reported last week by Drug Store News, Margolis cited “very large differences by education in smoking and physical activity trajectories in middle age.”

So, as a pharmacist, you might consider putting special emphasis on your less-educated patients when providing disease-state counseling, medication therapy management and other clinical services and interventions. And if your store or company provides smoking cessation classes, you might consider giving those patients an extra boost to encourage them to sign up!

That said, I’m curious whether pharmacists in different parts of the United States can fully corroborate Margolis’ findings. If you practice in a community setting, do you find marked differences in healthy behaviors, lifestyles, exercise levels or eating habits among your patients depending on their level of education or other socio-economic markers? Click on the comment button to share your thoughts; as always, your feedback is most welcome.

 

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J&J to add red warning label to Tylenol in effort to raise awareness on appropriate dosing

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Johnson & Johnson last week reported it will add a red warning to caps of Tylenol to reinforce the risks of taking too much acetaminophen, the Associated Press reported last week. 

The alert will appear on the caps of Extra Strength Tylenol beginning in October, according to the report. 

The new warning on Tylenol caps will read: “Contains Acetaminophen” and “Always Read the Label.”

 

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Spanish-language TV series to educate Conn. Latinos about health-reform law

BY Alaric DeArment

HARTFORD, Conn. — A quasi-public agency that Connecticut’s state legislature created two years ago is reaching out to the state’s Latino residents to educate them about Obamacare.

Access Health CT, which was established to increase the number of insured residents in the state and satisfy requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is launching a television series on the Spanish-language channel Univision designed to educate and enroll Latinos in the state.

"Mercado de Salud" ("Health Market") will be a long-form series of shows, segments and capsules, debuting Saturday at 11 a.m. on Univision 18 Hartford and airing through March 2014.

"A staggering 344,000 people are uninsured in Connecticut, and approximately 25% are from our Latino community," Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said. "To help reverse that statistic, we created ‘Mercado de Salud,’ a culturally relevant TV series that informs the community about how to gain access to the coverage they need. ‘Mercado de Salud’ provides the necessary knowledge and tools to engage and empower Latinos for a healthier tomorrow."

 

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