Background: Low health literacy is associated with poorer health status and higher mortality rates. This has implications on disease outcomes including occupational asthma, rhinitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) caused by exposure to the toxic dust from the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster.
Objective: This study's aim is to measure the health literacy of our World Trade Center patient population and investigate to what extent the literacy level of the WTC patient population influences the health effects of WTC dust exposure such as asthma, rhinitis, and GERD.
Methods: Cross sectional study utilizing in person interviews conducted in an outpatient clinic setting. Literacy was measured with the Newest Vital Sign (NVS). Our main outcome of interest was patient reported symptom scores of rhinitis, asthma, and GERD.
Results: 208 patients completed the study. 55% of patients had limited literacy. 45% of patients had adequate literacy. Patients with limited literacy had more abnormal reflux symptom index (RSI) scores (p=.038) and rhinosinusitis and asthma (RSA) scores (p=.023) than those with adequate literacy. Adjusted analysis, however, did not support this statistical significance.
Conclusions: The majority of patients in our WTC clinic had limited health literacy. However, lower literacy was not significantly associated with abnormal rhinosinusitis and reflux symptom scores. Further studies are needed to gain a better understanding of how health literacy impacts these outcomes in our patient population.
|Advisor:||Hoz, Rafael De la|
|School:||Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||MAI 51/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Occupational health, Public health|
|Keywords:||Health literacy, World Trade Center|
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