Investigation of the Residents’ Health Literacy Status and Its Risk Factors in Jiangsu Province of China

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Background: Health literacy has become an important public health concern. However, a limited number of studies have investigated health literacy in Jiangsu Province of China. Methods: A total of 12,450 residents aged 15-69 years in Jiangsu Province were interviewed face-by-face through multi-stage cluster random sampling. The 2009 questionnaire of health literacy designed by the Ministry of Health of China was used to measure health literacy. The subjects were divided into low grade group (the comprehensive health literacy grade <34 points) and high grade group (the comprehensive health literacy grade ≥ 34 points). Multiple logistic regression was used for the analysis. Results: The knowledge rates about science concept of health, literacy of preventing acute infectious disease, literacy of preventing non-communicable chronic disease, safety and first aid, obtaining and making use of basic medical care, and comprehensive literacy knowledge were 60.02%, 66.80%, 51.85%, 66.84%, 55.27% and 52.46%, respectively. Multiple logistic regression showed that living in rural area, more numbers of household, increased age, less education, agricultural or rural migrant occupation workers, and lower family income were all risk factors for poor status of health literacy (all p values <0.01). Conclusion: The general health literacy level of the residents in Jiangsu Province was low. At least 40% of residents in Jiangsu Province were deficient in health literacy. Health education and promotion intervention may be targeted in this high risk population to improve health literacy.


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