You should be screened for potential health risks annually

Teens up to age 26 can remain under their families’ health coverage based on the Affordable Care Act to make sure they have access to preventive health care. But although teens have the chance to have annual health checkups, only two third of them actually use that opportunity.

That’s according to the data from the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Census. Recently a survey was conducted to find out why. The online survey was conducted among teens, health care professionals and also parents. All together more than 2000 people were surveyed.

At least half of the teens admit to worrying about their health, even though only 28% of their parents feel they do. But when it comes to reasons why not to have annual checkups, 60% of the teens can think of at least one reason. And one third of them believe that they shouldn’t go to the doctor unless they are sick.

Then again, based on the answers from physicians the annual checkup is a great opportunity for informative health discussions as they trigger more questions from both the teenagers themselves as well as their parents. Even though the survey also revealed that if the teen is joined by a parent in the exam room, it might restrict the conversation.

The survey was conducted by NFID (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases) in collaboration with Pfizer Inc and fielded by Harris Interactive.

“NFID has long been an advocate of preventive health. With the drop in annual checkups during the teen years, we wanted to take a look at the attitudes and behaviors of the people closest to teen health to see if we can better understand the reason for the decline, ” said NFID medical director Susan J. Rehm, MD.

For more information about the survey and teen health in general, see myteenshealth.com.

Disclosure: This post was requested by an advertiser.