Aurora report finds Wisconsinites less concerned than nation about flu

Wisconsin residents are less concerned about getting the flu than their national counterparts, according to Aurora Health Care’s debut Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report. Also among its findings was that Wisconsinites planned to eat more poorly and exercise less during the holiday season.

The report gauges consumer sentiment on timely health topics and compares Wisconsin’s survey responses with those of the nation. Conducted in late October by the market research company Research Now, it surveyed approximately 1,500 adults ages 18 and older across Wisconsin and the United States.

The study revealed that Wisconsin residents and people nationally are not drastically concerned about getting the flu. Specifically:

• Only one in four Wisconsin residents expressed concern about getting the flu this season, compared to one in three nationally.
•  Nearly six in 10 people in Wisconsin indicated they may or will get an annual flu shot, yet three in 10 both nationally (29 percent) and in Wisconsin (31 percent) say they will avoid flu shots all together.
• 62 percent of Wisconsin residents 55 years of age and older plan to get a flu shot annually, versus only 31 percent of people in the state ages 18 to 34 and 37 percent ages 35 to 54.

“It’s interesting to see how many people both nationally and in Wisconsin avoid getting their flu shot and appear to feel somewhat invincible,” said Anne Martino, vice president of Consumer Insights and Innovation at Aurora Health Care.

Beyond the flu, the report highlights how consumers may modify their general wellness activities during the holiday season.

• 43 percent of Wisconsin residents say they eat poorer during the holidays, versus 35 percent of the nation.
• 24 percent of Wisconsin residents indicate they exercise less during the holiday season, versus 19 percent of participants nationally.
• Women in Wisconsin show greater concern than men toward their eating habits (50 versus 36 percent), stress levels (40 versus 22 percent) and depression (21 versus 12 percent) during the holiday.

“As an organization that works daily to help people live well, we wanted to create a program that allows us to better understand how consumers across Wisconsin and nationally feel about a variety of timely health-related topics,” Martino said. “Through the Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report, our hope is to help identify consumer health gaps on different topics, and, ideally, begin to drive innovation that can help close these gaps through more effective care.”

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