The research found in an average year some 13% or about 32 million Americans aged 14 and over report having some form of infection – the most common form being cold sores (reported by 5.7% or almost 14 million people), viruses (3.4% or 8.4 million people) and fungal infections (1.4% or 3.5 million people). Less common infections recorded in the survey include abscesses (including boils & carbuncles), shingles, hepatitis (including hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C) and genital herpes, amongst others.
More women than men report having an infection – with 15.7% of women (or an estimated 19.7 million woman) having an infection in the last 12 months compared to 10.2% of men (or an estimated 12.2 million men). The only infection reported by more men than women is hepatitis, with 1.04 million men reporting having hepatitis compared to 789,000 women. The most common infection for both women and men is cold sores.
Analysis by age shows the incidence of infections increases in each age group to the 34-49 age group before dropping off in the older age groups. This trend is common for all infections, except for fungal diseases and shingles, which both have the highest incidence in the 65 years and older age group.
Chart: Incidence of Infections in America analyzed by gender and age
Source: Roy Morgan International, n=13,672.
If we were to draw a pen portrait of a person with an infection, although she or he would be more likely to be aged 35 years to 49 years and be a woman, she or he could come from any socio-economic background and her or his attitudes and behavior would reflect the average American. For example, like the average American, the vast majority of Americans with infections have visited friends or relatives in the last three months, purchased from a fast food outlet or restaurant in the last six months, like to take holidays within America and agree with the statements, “I consider myself an American” and “I am very proud of my family”.
Portia Morgan, Vice President Business Development at Roy Morgan International says:
“The Roy Morgan Health Monitor provides rich detail about the daily lives, activities, financial situation and media usage of Americans suffering from all types of illnesses, including infections. This new release on infections, and its accompanying reports, looks at the profile of Americans with infections in detail. As well as analyzing the demographic and attitudes, it also provides information about other health problems suffered by Americans with infections. People with different types of infections will have different age profiles as well as different attitudinal perspectives, which is why the selection of profiles on the Online Store looking at each infection individually can provide real and accurate insights.”
The above findings are part of a much larger health profile study with 13,672 Americans conducted by Roy Morgan International. Comparative studies have also been conducted in Australia, UK and New Zealand. Respondents self reported having the illness or condition in the last 12 months at the time of interview.
View a comprehensive profile on Americans with Infections including their demographics, attitudes, activities and media consumption. Also available are profiles of Americans with specific types of infections including abscesses (such as boils & carbuncles), cold sores, fungal infection, shingles and viruses.
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