Reports From the Field: Information available on chronic health conditions

New data are available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on people with selected chronic illnesses and the preventative services or treatments they use.

The self-reported data come from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and are available on the Internet at www.meps/arq.gov.

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey collects information annually on health care use, health status, access, and quality from people living in U.S. households. Some findings from the 2000 survey include:

  • Nearly 43% of people ages 18 and older with public insurance report that they have high blood pressure, compared with 21% of privately insured people and 13.2 % of those with no insurance.
  • Of people ages 18 and older who had a stroke, 58.6% reported that they had been advised by a medical provider to exercise more, and 59.1% reported that they had been advised to change their diets.
  • Hispanics were less likely than people of other races to report having heart disease, high blood pressure, or asthma.
  • Among diabetics, 69.4% reported having a hemoglobin A1C test, and 62.8% reported having their feet checked for sores.
  • About 48% of all asthmatics ages 18 and older reported taking prescribed medications, 29% reported using steroid inhalers, and 17% said they had a peak flow meter in their home.