BANGOR, Maine — The results of an extensive survey of the eight northern counties of Maine are now available on the Bangor Daily News website to help readers better understand health trends in the state.
The 2010 Health Care Study was commissioned by the BDN and conducted by a private marketing and communications firm, Customers By Design, based in New Jersey. It was presented earlier to health care provider organizations. The study grew out of a recent regional survey of retail trends and demographics and provides general consumer information about the health and fitness sector, according to study designers.
Key findings include the following:
• Most Mainers in the northern part of the state have a strong interest in eating a healthy diet, taking vitamins and supplements, and maintaining a routine of regular, vigorous exercise.
• Most describe themselves as serious seekers of health care and wellness information, and most feel that they are knowledgeable about available and recommended services.
• There is an extensive use of hospital services in the area, reflective of the aging population.
• It is common for people to travel outside the Bangor region for specialized care and newer technologies.
• Most adults have a primary care physician and some health care coverage.
• High blood pressure and high cholesterol are the most common medical problems.
• Many people delay medical care because of its cost.
The health care sector “makes up a large part of the economy in terms of both work force and consumer services,” according to Edward Efchak, president of Customers by Design. Efchak added that consumer and employer interest in issues of health and wellness has been fueled by many factors, including national health reform and the increased availability of public information about the comparative performance of doctors and hospitals.