Cancer Tops List of Health Concerns Among Middle-Income Americans, New Study
CARMEL, Ind., May 29, 2013
CARMEL, Ind., May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cancer is the No. 1 health concern
among our country's middle-income Americans, according to a new study released
by Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions (IWS).
The study, Middle-Income America's Perspectives on Critical Illness and
Financial Security, which surveyed 1,001 Americans ages 30 to 66 with an
annual household income of between $35,000 and $99,999, found that 79% are
somewhat concerned or very concerned about a cancer diagnosis, followed by
heart disease (74%), stroke (70%), and Alzheimer's disease (60%).
The specific cancer types that elicit the most concern correlate heavily with
gender. Prostate, colon and lung cancer are the largest concerns for men; for
women, breast cancer is the predominant concern.
Highest concerns by critical illness type
Those concerned about cancer and heart disease feel most vulnerable to
healthcare costs and the life-threatening nature of these illnesses. People
most concerned about stroke and Alzheimer's/dementia, by contrast, feel
vulnerable on quality-of-life issues and being able to maintain an independent
life after a diagnosis and treatment.
The study also found that people tend to be more concerned about a loved one
being diagnosed than themselves. Nearly half (47%) say they would be more
concerned if a parent or child were diagnosed with cancer than themselves
"Practice healthy habits and seek regular care," said Barbara Stewart,
President of Washington National Insurance Company. "A portion of critical
illness diagnoses are attributable to genetics but others are attributable as
result of unhealthy habits. Taking control of your wellness today may help to
improve your odds for a long, healthy life."
External treatment sources
Many middle-income Americans equate health with wealth. About half (53%)
strongly agree with the proposition that "people with more money receive
higher-quality medical treatment". Uninsured consumers and African-Americans
are more likely to feel that wealth influences treatment quality.
If faced with a critical illness diagnosis, about 7-in-10 say they probably
would receive treatment in their own city or town, but half (54%) would seek
care elsewhere if access or cost were not a concern.
The Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic were frequently mentioned—especially in
the Midwest—when they were asked where they would prefer to receive treatment
if cost or access were not an issue.
External information sources
As sources of treatment information, healthcare providers and facilities are
considered more than four times more important than other sources.
For financial information concerning health coverage, middle-income Americans
consider health insurance companies most important, followed by healthcare
providers and facilities.
No more than 10% would heavily rely on the Internet as their primary resource
about treatment option or financial information.
Middle-Income America's Perspectives on Critical Illness and Financial
Security, a study from the Washington National Institute for Wellness
Solutions, was conducted in January 2013 by Zeldis Research, an independent
research firm. The full report can be viewed at WNInstituteforWellness.com.
A cross-generational nationwide sample of 1,001 middle-income Americans ages
30 to 66 with an annual household income of between $35,000 and $99,999
participated in the internet-based survey. Females and males each represented
approximately 50% of survey participants.
None of the respondents had ever been diagnosed with any of the following
critical illnesses: Alzheimer's disease or dementia, cancer, heart disease,
multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and stroke. Respondents were
excluded if they had Medicare, Medicaid or Medicare supplement insurance.
Significant subsample differences were tested at the 95% confidence level.
About the Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions
The Institute for Wellness Solutions is Washington National Insurance
Company's research and consumer education program. The organization sponsors
studies and supports awareness campaigns to help Americans meet the challenges
of critical illnesses. Specifically, the institute provides insight and
practical advice about wellness and illness prevention, illness care and
treatment, and managing the total costs—financial and personal—of critical
illnesses. To learn more, visit WNInstituteforWellness.com.
Washington National Insurance Company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group,
Inc. (NYSE: CNO), has helped Americans since 1911 to protect themselves and
their families from the financial hardship that often comes with critical
illnesses, accidents and loss of life. The company remains dedicated to
helping middle-income Americans who work hard and want to protect themselves
and their loved ones. To learn more, visit WashingtonNational.com.
SOURCE Washington National Institute for Wellness Solutions
Contact: Jennifer Born, Washington National Insurance Company, 312-396-7089,
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