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J Adolesc Health. 2013 Jan;52(1):42-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.04.017. Epub 2012 Jul 6.

Receipt of preventive health services in young adults.

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Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of California-San Francisco, CA 94118, USA.



To examine self-reported rates and disparities in delivery of preventive services to young adults.


A population-based cross-sectional analysis, of 3,670 and 3,621 young adults aged 18-26 years who responded to California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) in 2005 and CHIS 2007, respectively. The main outcome measures were self-reported receipt of flu vaccination, sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening, cholesterol screening, diet counseling, exercise counseling, and emotional health screening. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine how age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, insurance, and usual source of care influence the receipt of preventive services.


Delivery rates ranged from 16.7% (flu vaccine) to 50.6% (cholesterol screening). Being female and having a usual source of care significantly increased receipt of services, with female participants more likely to receive STD screening (p < .001), cholesterol screening (p < .01), emotional health screening (p < .001), diet counseling (p < .01), and exercise counseling (p < .05) than male participants after controlling for age, race/ethnicity, income, insurance, and usual source of care. Young adults with a usual source of care were more likely to receive a flu vaccine (p < .05), STD screening (p < .01), cholesterol screening (p < .001), diet counseling (p < .05), and exercise counseling (p < .05) than those without a usual source of care after adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, income, and insurance.


Rates of preventive services delivery are generally low. Greater efforts are needed to develop guidelines for young adults to increase the delivery of preventive care to this age-group, and to address the gender and ethnic/racial disparities in preventive services delivery.

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