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Document Number: 7086

The Health Literacy of America’s Adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy - This report examines the results of an assessment designed specifically to measure the health literacy of adults living in the United States. Health literacy was reported using four performance levels: Below Basic, Basic, Intermediate and Proficient. The majority of adults (53%) had Intermediate health literacy, about 22% had Basic and 14% had Below Basic health literacy. Relationships between health literacy and background variables – such as educational attainment, age, race/ethnicity, where adults get information about health issues and health insurance coverage – are also examined and reported. For example, adults with Below Basic or Basic health literacy were less likely than adults with higher health literacy to get information about health issues from written sources (newspapers, magazines, books, brochures or the Internet) and more likely than adults with higher health literacy to get a lot of information about health issues from radio and television. (Mark Kutner, Elizabeth Greenberg, Ying Jin and Christine Paulsen, National Center for Education Statistics, September 2006) ...

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