Older Adults Interested in At-Home Tests

Roughly half have used an at-home test, but sociodemographic disparities seen in use
Senior woman using an nasal swab for covid 19 detection, self testing.
Senior woman using an nasal swab for covid 19 detection, self testing.Adobe Stock

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of U.S. adults aged 50 to 80 years (48 percent) have ever bought an at-home medical test, with nearly one-third (32 percent) having bought an at-home COVID-19 test, according to a new report from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.

The poll, conducted in July 2022 both online and via phone, included results from 2,163 U.S. adults aged 50 to 80 years.

The researchers from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, found that nearly all participants (92 percent) agreed that test results should be shared with the person’s doctor or other provider, but among those who actually have bought and used a home test for an infection (COVID-19, HIV, or a urinary tract infection), only 55 percent shared their result with their primary care provider. White and Hispanic older adults were more likely than Black older adults to have bought a COVID-19 test (33 percent, 33 percent, and 20 percent, respectively). Participants with higher levels of education, with higher-income households, and who were married or partnered were more likely to have bought an at-home medical test. Of the 82 percent who expressed interest in taking a future at-home test, 70 percent were interested in a COVID-19 test, 56 percent were interested in cancer-related tests, and 43 percent were interested in tests for other types of infection.

“Home tests can be a convenient way for older adults to check if they have an illness, such as COVID-19,” Indira Venkat, senior vice president of AARP Research, said in a statement. “But consumers should make sure they know whether the test they are taking is [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]-approved, and how their health or genetic information might be shared.”

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