Older adults comfortable with aging get more health tests
Researchers from the University of Michigan found that people over the age of 50 are more likely to get health screenings and tests if they’re more comfortable with growing older.
Data from 6,177 participants in the 2008 Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a wide-reaching panel study of Americans over the age of 50, was examined by the Michigan researchers. Each participant was questioned about their preventative health measures, and their waist sizes and blood pressure readings were recorded.
The results showed people who were comfortable with aging were more likely to have undergone cholesterol and colonoscopy testing. Women over the age of 50 who didn’t mind getting older received more mammograms, X-rays, and pap smears compared to women who were not comfortable with aging. Similarly, men who were more content were more likely to get prostate exams. However, the frequency of flu shots did not change with age satisfaction.
Researchers noted attitude toward aging has a big part in preventative care. For example, if a person thinks health problems are inevitable with old age they may be less likely to try and prevent them by seeking care. Also, people who blame their age for a heart attack or stroke may be less likely to change their lifestyle habits and, thus, seek treatment or care.