Survey Shows Americans Remain Positive About Their Own Health, Less Optimistic About ‘Average American’

Annual PhRMA Survey Shows Americans Seeking More Health Information Online, Taking Decision-Making Into Own Hands

Washington, D.C. (August 13, 2014) — The majority of Americans report they have had a good year when it comes to their personal health and are paying more attention to their health compared to just a few years ago, according to From Hope to Cures: PhRMA’s Second Annual National Health Survey. The survey, which explores Americans’ attitudes on personal health and medical concerns, also brings to light three new trends evolving under the shifting health care landscape.

The survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates, polled 1,207 Americans. Among the key findings:

  • 66 percent of Americans report they have had a good year when it comes to their own health, while 63 percent report it has been a good year for their family’s health.
  • 58 percent of Americans report they are paying more attention to their health now compared to just a few years ago with weight management, diet and exercise topping the list of personal health concerns.
  • Only 20 percent, however, report it was a good health year for Americans overall.Subscribe button

“While Americans are optimistic about their own health and that of their families, they are significantly less positive about the health of the nation as a whole, said Geoff Garin, President of Hart Research Associates. “These findings reveal a disconnect in perceptions of how Americans view themselves and that of the average American in the context of today’s rapidly evolving health care system.”

 The survey also revealed three important new trends that may signal dramatic changes in the way Americans receive and act on health care information:

  • Americans are seeking new sources of health information and are taking decision-making into their own hands. A large majority of Americans (78 percent) report they seek sources outside of their doctor’s office for health information, and one in four (25 percent) have done something different than what their doctor recommended.
  • Troubling myths persist around basic health and wellness issues. Americans report confusion around basic health and wellness facts and practices, most notably around childhood vaccines, which one in four Americans (25 percent) believe can cause autism.
  • While most Americans are optimistic about their health, minority communities have unique health concerns and barriers. Among African Americans, fully 25 percent report they are dealing with diabetes, compared to 17 percent of Hispanics and 11 percent of whites.

 “It’s crucial to keep the patient at the center of the health care dialogue in order to improve health outcomes in America,” said John J. Castellani, President and CEO of PhRMA. “This year’s survey not only provides a current snapshot of how Americans’ feel about their health and wellness, it reveals important new trends on where Americans are turning for health information and how they are making personal health care decisions.”

Read the blog post Second Annual PhRMA Survey: How Americans View Their Health, Three Important New Health Trends to Watch


The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $550 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $51.1 billion in 2013 alone.

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