A Study Has Found: Illiteracy can affect your health

What's that say?

If you’re able to read this story, you may be in for a healthier future.

A study from The University College London found that adults who do not know how to read are twice as likely to die within five years, compared to adults who are literate, according to BBC News.

The connection is an obvious one: Adults who have trouble reading cannot fully understand instructions on medicine labels and prescription bottles, hence putting their health at risk.

About 8,000 adults over the age of 65 in England were tested on their ability to understand the instructions on an aspirin bottle. About 12.5 percent had “low health literacy,” meaning they made at least a couple of mistakes in the directions.

Over the next five years, 16 percent of the “low health literacy” group died. Researchers believe they’ve found a link between illiteracy and health problems physical limitations, chronic diseases and depressive symptoms.

“How are patients expected to make informed decisions if they do not fully understand the information being given to them?” said Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients’ Association. “Patients must be involved in the development of these information leaflets from the outset to make sure they provide relevant and clear information.”


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