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AH: Chronic Disease Less Prevalent in Uninsured Adults

Lower prevalence of many chronic conditions compared with those enrolled in Medicaid

MONDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Uninsured low-income adults who are eligible for Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are less likely to have a chronic health condition than those currently enrolled in Medicaid, according to a study published online June 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with presentation at the Annual Research Meeting of AcademyHealth, held from June 23 to 25 in Baltimore.

Sandra L. Decker, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007 to 2010 to analyze health conditions among a nationally representative sample of 1,042 uninsured adults (aged 19 through 64 years) who could gain Medicaid coverage under the ACA, compared with 471 low-income adults currently enrolled in Medicaid.

The researchers found that uninsured adults were less likely to be obese and sedentary, and were less likely to report a physical, mental, or emotional limitation than those already enrolled in Medicaid. They were also significantly less likely to have chronic conditions such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or diabetes (30.1 percent among uninsured adults versus 38.6 percent among adults enrolled in Medicaid). Uninsured adults with these conditions were less likely to be aware of them and to have them controlled; 80.1 percent had at least one uncontrolled condition, versus 63.4 percent of those enrolled in Medicaid.

"Compared with adults currently enrolled in Medicaid, uninsured low-income adults potentially eligible to enroll in Medicaid under the ACA had a lower prevalence of many chronic conditions," the authors write. "A substantial proportion of currently uninsured adults with chronic conditions did not have good disease control."

Full Text (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1699906 )More Information (http://academyhealth.org/events/content.cfm?ItemNumber=882&navItemNumber=529 )