Mortality risk in adults increased by low health literacy

One-third of British older adults have difficulties understanding basic health-related written information, a prospective study of 7857 adults aged older than 50 years has found.

Participants were asked to read an enlarged, fictitious medicine label similar to what might be found on a packet of aspirin – and could refer back to it as they answered four related questions about the content.

Just over 20% made one error and were classified as having ‘medium’ level of health literacy, while 12.5% made more than one error and fell into the low literacy category. Participants were then followed up over an