Older Adults Most Receptive to Health Info in Early 50s, Study Finds

john-dimmick-ohio-stateIn a recent study, based on a survey of Americans aged 45 to 65 years, researchers found that early 50s might be a key age to reach Baby Boomers with health messages. John Dimmick, PhD, emeritus associate professor of communication at Ohio State University, Columbus, led the study, which aims to help health care professionals target older adults at a time when they are most receptive to hearing them.

“The early 50s are clearly a key change point for the baby boomers we studied,” Katey Price, a doctoral candidate in communication at Ohio State, says. “This would be a great time to reach Boomers with messages about how to improve and protect their health.”

According to the study results, individuals in their late 40s had the lowest levels of interest in health issues. Interest then rose quickly and peaked in the early 50s before dropping slightly and plateauing during the rest of the 50s and 60s. Another rise in interest occurred near age 65, the authors report.

At age 50, Dimmick says, American are told they need to undergo a variety of health screenings. This, the researchers suspect, helps piques interest in health among individuals in this age group. “People start paying attention to their health when they are encouraged to het all of these various screenings,” Dimmick says.

The researchers also discovered that survey respondents received most of their health information from health care professionals. The media, particularly the Internet, came in second.

[Source: The Ohio State University]