Insured work ing-age adults are more likely than the elderly not to receive necessary medical care, apparently because they lack sufficient insurance cover age, a survey shows.
The survey also found that among those working-age adults, the poor and minorities have the least access to medical care, mainly because they cannot afford it.
University of California at Los An geles School of Medicine researchers surveyed 7,663 working-age adults and found they were more than three times as likely as the elderly to have needed medical care but not have gotten it even though they had health insurance.
"A lot of working-age people are not planning on getting sick and do not know they don't have adequate coverage until they get sick," said Dr. Rodney A. Hayward, who head ed the study.
"(he survey) shows that even once people have medical insurance, there are major disparities in access to care," said Hayward, whose find ings were published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The survey also found that work ing-age adults with health insurance were also more than three times as likely as the elderly to have had ma jor financial problems because of illness.
Hayward noted in a telephone in terview that working-age people, a group from age 22 to 64, represents most Americans.
Among insured, working-age adults, the poor were more than four times as likely as those who were not poor to have needed medical care but not have received it, and more than five times as likely to have had major financial problems because of illness, the survey found.
Blacks were nearly twice as likely as whites to have needed care but not to have received it, while sick His- panics were more than twice as likely as sick whites to not have seen a doc tor within the past year.
These groups probably have less access to care than their white coun lack of doctors and medical facilities in poor and non-white communities, Hayward said.
Dr. Elijah Saunders, who did not participate in the study, said blacks suffer a disproportionate rate of dis ease in almost all categories and the high ratio is directly related to a lack of education in medical matters.
Saunders, the head of cardiology and hypertension at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore, announced Wednesday the creation of "Black Health," a new magazine said to be the first of its kind.