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Most adults do not discuss memory problems during routine check-ups

Only 1 in 4 older adults discusses memory complaints with a health care professional during a routine check-up, according to an analysis of data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

The study found that nearly 75 percent of adults 45 and older had not discussed their memory issues with a health care professional. Even when memory issues are serious enough to affect daily activities such as household chores, work, or volunteering, only about half reported such discussions.

Those with depression and disability were more likely than other patients to discuss memory problems with a health care professional. But overall, the likelihood of talking with a health care professional about memory problems decreased as age increased.

“Routine check-ups are a missed opportunity for assessing and discussing memory problems for the majority of older adults,” suggests study author Mary Adams, M.P.H., of On Target Health Data LLCV. “Public health officials and organizations can become involved by raising general awareness of early detection of cognitive impairment and dementia and discussions with a health care professional.”

Article: 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, Mary Adams, MS, MPH, On Target Health Data LLC, Preventing Chronic Disease, published 28 January 2016.