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Routine Check-Ups and Other Factors Affecting Discussions With a Health Care Provider About Subjective Memory Complaints, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 21 States, 2011
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    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Most adults reporting subjective memory complaints (SMCs) do not discuss them with a health care provider and miss an opportunity to learn about treatment options or receive a diagnosis. The objective of this study was to describe correlates of discussing memory problems with a health care professional among adults reporting SMCs.


    Data were from 10,276 respondents aged 45 years or older in 21 states reporting SMCs on the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Odds ratios (ORs) adjusted for demographic and health-related measures were computed for discussing SMCs with a health care professional.


    Among all respondents aged 45 or older reporting SMCs, 22.9% reported discussing them with a health care professional; among those reporting a recent routine check-up, this rate was 25.2%. The largest adjusted OR for discussing SMCs with a health care professional was for respondents reporting that SMCs always (vs never) caused them to give up household chores (OR, 3.02) or always (vs never) interfered with work (OR, 2.98). Increasing age reduced the likelihood of discussing SMCs. Among respondents who discussed SMCs, 41.8% received treatment.


    Routine check-ups may be a missed opportunity for discussions of SMCs that might lead to diagnosis or 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.

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