CHA News Article

Report Examines Californians with Chronic Conditions
Describes prevalence of conditions by region, age, federal poverty level, race/ethnicity and insurance type

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) has released a report that examines five major chronic conditions — asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and serious psychological distress — and how each of these affects Californians. Titled Californians with the Top Chronic Conditions: 11 Million and Counting, the report details the prevalence of chronic conditions among adults by region, age, federal poverty level, race/ethnicity and insurance type. It also includes information on risk factors among adults with chronic conditions, emergency department visits and more.

Key report findings include:

  • About 40 percent of adults reported having at least one of the five chronic conditions studied.
  • High blood pressure is the most common chronic condition, affecting about one in four, or 7.6 million, adults in California.
  • As income rises, the prevalence of chronic conditions falls. Adults living under 138 percent of the federal poverty level were more likely to have two or more chronic conditions (14 percent) than those in the highest income group, designated as more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level (8 percent).
  • Many people with chronic conditions delay getting needed care. Of Californians with psychological distress, 34 percent delayed needed medical care, and 27 percent delayed filling prescriptions. Cost or lack of insurance was frequently cited as the reason for these delays.
  • The prevalence of chronic conditions increases with age. Of Californians age 65 or older, 70 percent have at least one chronic condition, compared to 26 percent of those ages 18 to 39.
  • The proportion of California adults with chronic conditions varied by region. About 45 percent of adults in the Inland Empire, San Joaquin Valley, and Northern and Sierra Counties had at least one chronic condition, compared to 36 percent of adults in Orange County.

Visit the CHCF website to view the full report.

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