Aurora report shows cancer, obesity top concerns of Wisconsinites

Cancer and obesity are the top health concerns for Wisconsin residents, according to Aurora Health Care’s most recent Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report.

The study showed that 23 percent of people surveyed in Wisconsin and across the country indicated their greatest health concern is cancer, a disease that is diagnosed in more than one million new people each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

“Consumer sentiment on their greatest health concern is consistent across the country,” said Anne Martino, vice president of consumer insights and innovation at Aurora Health Care. “The findings of our first quarterly report of 2015 highlight the continued need for education and innovation in cancer care, both here in Wisconsin and nationally.”

After cancer, obesity is listed as the second greatest concern for Wisconsin residents, with 19 percent of people raising it as a concern, compared to 13 percent of the rest of the nation. According to the most recent Center for Disease Controls Self-Reported Obesity Report in 2014, nearly 30 percent of the state’s population is obese.

According to the study, female respondents in Wisconsin expressed greater concern (23 percent) with obesity than their male counterparts (15 percent).

The newest Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report also found health and wellness behaviors of Wisconsinites differ, both in the state among men and women, and on a national level. Among key findings are:

• Wisconsinites are less likely (68 percent) to consider their current lifestyle healthy compared to the rest of the nation (75 percent).

• Fewer Wisconsin residents (57 percent) set annual health and wellness goals as compared to the rest of the nation (62 percent).

• Wisconsinites are also slower to adopt to the usage of health-related apps, with less than one in five people  (19 percent) currently using digital fitness trackers like MapMyRun, etc., versus nearly a quarter of the nation (24 percent).

Wisconsin men and women also differ in regards to how they view their lifestyles.

For example, 63 percent of men in Wisconsin believe they exercise enough to live a healthy lifestyle, compared to 50 percent of women.

Additional study findings focused on stress management. When asked about how they manage stress, responses from men and women vary significantly, both nationally and in Wisconsin.

• Women are likely to be moderately to extremely stressed compared to men, both nationally (28 percent versus 18 percent) and in Wisconsin (31 percent versus 21 percent).

• Men report to believe they do a better job managing their stress, both nationally (41 percent of men versus 24 percent of women) and in Wisconsin (36 percent of men compared to 26 percent of women).

Finally, when asked about the most important attribute that people look for when selecting a physician, Wisconsin residents’ (36 percent) top preference was a personal connection with a physician versus only 28 percent of the rest of the nation.

The least important attribute, according to those polled, were awards or credentials presented by the physician.

Three in four Wisconsin residents get an annual check-up, and 80 percent of people in Wisconsin and nationally indicate they have a primary care doctor.

Aurora’s quarterly report, published for the first time in December 2014, is intended to gauge consumer sentiment on a variety of health-related topics that matter in the lives of people across Wisconsin and the nation. Administered by Research Now, the survey assesses approximately 1,500 adults ages 18 and older across Wisconsin and the United States.

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