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Four in 10 Kentucky Adults Rate Their Health as Excellent or Very Good

Feb 14, 2019

Fewer Kentuckians have a positive outlook on their health, according to data released today from the 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP). When asked how they would rate their overall health, 4 in 10 Kentucky adults (40%) rated it as excellent or very good, a decline from 49% in 2008.

KHIP is jointly funded by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

“Health is a sum of many parts,” said O’dell Moreno Owens, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO of Interact for Health. “We often hear about rates of specific health conditions—like heart disease, cancer or diabetes—but can lose sight of overall health. Research has shown that self-reported assessments, like the one on KHIP, can be an accurate measurement of actual health.”

Decline in perceived health greatest among adults with higher incomes

A variety of social factors can influence a person’s health, with one of those being income. In general, Kentucky adults with lower income are less likely to perceive themselves as being in good health, but assessments are changing among adults with higher income.

When looking at trends of overall health as measured by KHIP, declines in health status are more pronounced among adults earning more than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). In 2008, 66% of adults earning 200% FPG or more rated their overall health as excellent or very good. The percentage of adults having a positive outlook on their health had declined to 49% in 2018.

In comparison, perceptions of overall health among Kentucky adults earning 200% FPG or less have remained relatively steady, coming in at 30% in both 2008 and 2018.

In 2017, the measurement used for the 2018 KHIP survey, 200% FPG was $49,200 for a family of four.

About the Kentucky Health Issues Poll

The 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll was funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health. It was conducted Aug. 26-Oct. 21, 2018, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,569 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone. This included 697 landline interviews and 872 interviews with cell phone users. In 95 of 100 cases, the statewide estimates will be accurate to ±2.5%. There are other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as nonresponse, question wording or context effects that can introduce error or bias. For more information about the Kentucky Health Issues Poll, please visit www.healthy-ky.org or www.interactforhealth.org/about-khip/.

About Interact for Health

Interact for Health is improving the health of all people in our region. We serve as a catalyst by promoting health equity through grants, education, research, policy and engagement. To amplify the impact of our work, Interact for Health focuses on three strategic priorities: reducing tobacco use, addressing the opioid epidemic and ensuring that children have access to health care through school-based health centers. We are an independent foundation that serves 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

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