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Few Adults Discuss Subjective Memory Complaints With Doctors

Of adults aged 45 years and older reporting recent check-up, only 25.2 percent reported SMCs

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TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Few adults aged 45 years or older with subjective memory complaints (SMCs) report discussing these with a health care professional, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

Mary Adams, M.P.H., from On Target Health Data in West Suffield, Conn., describes correlates of discussing memory problems with a health care professional among adults reporting SMCs. Data were included for 10,276 adults aged 45 years or older in 21 states who reported SMCs on the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Adams found that 22.9 percent of all respondents reporting SMCs reported discussing them with a health care professional; this rate was 25.2 percent among those reporting a recent routine check-up. The likelihood of discussing SMCs with a health care professional was highest for respondents reporting that SMCs always (versus never) caused them to give up household chores or always interfered with work (odds ratios, 3.02 and 2.98, respectively). The likelihood of discussing SMCs was reduced with increasing age. Less than half (41.8 percent) of the respondents reporting SMCs received treatment.

"The Affordable Care Act requires a cognitive assessment for Medicare recipients during their annual wellness visit, but these results suggest that adults younger than 65 might also benefit from such an assessment," Adams writes.

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