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Health Literacy: Disparities in Medical Knowledge ~ Dr Antonio Giordano Sbarro Institute / SHRO

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Dr Antonio Giordano - Health literacy

Obtaining, processing, and understanding basic medical information allows for informed decision-making.

The health status of every individual is also correlated with their level of education, economic status, and quality of life, including travel or leisure activities. Consequently, in the presence of socioeconomic disparities, the inclination for physical activity and sometimes the ability to take care of one's physical and mental health might decrease. Overcoming basic medical knowledge disparities is finally on the agenda. Health literacy is crucial and surveys have been conducted to assess basic medical knowledge among Italians and internationals, particularly in sport, focusing on athletes from all over the world, particularly from underdeveloped countries. The data collected were surprisingly bad as in fact many individuals, regardless of their social and cultural background, demonstrated "limited health literacy," with limited ability to read and understand health information, judge its reliability, and make decisions regarding prevention or treatment of health condition. Obtaining, processing, and understanding basic medical information allows "informed decisions." In international athletics, the level of health literacy greatly affects injury prevention, due to big differences in support provided to athletes regarding access to medical teams and advanced analysis programs available to European athletes compared to African athletes. This clearly impacts sport results, health status, and social inequalities. To address the issue of inequality in health literacy among young athletes, it has been proposed that the International Association of Athletics Federations collaborates with the United Nations program, so that all athletes can receive global education promoting health and injury prevention. This would not only ensure the achievement of better athletic goals but also bridge the cultural gap and, above all, reduce disparities in healthcare support for athletes from poorer countries.

This report was first published by La Voce di New York in Italian, click here to read it.

Professor Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D. is the Founder and Director of Sbarro Health Research Organization based at the College of Science and Technology, Temple University, Philadelphia. Connect with him on his social media channels to follow more updates: (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram)

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