5+ years without a physical: Examining Millennials’ health habits
They may be known as the wellness generation, but in a new survey we learn millennials are putting some crucial health priorities on the back burner.
According to Harmony Healthcare IT, a health data management firm, about a quarter of those aged 23 to 38 have gone at least five years without a physical. Forty-five percent of respondents flat-out admitted that they're "putting off a health issue," and 41% of this group has been putting the issue off for more than a year.
Seventy-six percent of those surveyed said they have a primary care physician, so easy access is an option for most.
Dr. Maria Ciminelli, a family physician in Freehold and president of the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians, said adults in their 20s and 30s are not a rare occurrence in her office. Most of the millennials who do come in, she said, are interested in maintaining their health. As for young patients with a particular ailment they'd like checked, she said, there are those who've put off a visit for a while.
"Many times, because they feel that it may not be something too serious, or they try to deal with it on their own, or they try to get advice maybe from the internet," Ciminelli said.
Ciminelli said most Millennials likely aren't aware of their personal health risks based on family history, and that's a conversation best had with a doctor, not Google.
In the survey, 82% of Millennials said they find medical advice on WebMD. Fourteen percent sited FamilyDoctor.org, which is the website Ciminelli recommends for solid information.
Of those who've gone a while without a physical, 31% said it's "not convenient," and 15% said it "takes too long for an appointment." Twelve percent prefer urgent care.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.