People who have access to medical care that is comprehensive, readily accessible, and patient-centered are at lower risks of death. Anthony Jerant, from University of California/Davis (California, USA), and colleagues utilized data from the 2000- 05 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys, which are large-scale surveys of people living in the U.S. and their health and health care.

The study used data for 52,241 respondents, ages 18 to 90 years, for whom mortality information was available and who had one particular doctor’s office or clinic they visited for health information and treatment. The researchers analyzed respondents’ reported access to three primary health-care attributes: comprehensiveness, availability of evening/weekend office hours, and patient-centeredness. As the first study to link the availability of three specific attributes of primary care with reduced risk of death, the study authors conclude that: “Greater reported patient access to selected primary care attributes was associated with lower mortality.”

[Tristen K. Inagaki, Naomi I. Eisenberger. “Neural Correlates of Giving Support to a Loved One.” Psychosom Med., November 9, 2011.]