Aurora's Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report: Cancer, Obesity Top Health Concerns among Wisconsinites

March 23, 2015

Milwaukee, Wis. – Cancer and obesity are the top health concerns for Wisconsinites, according to the most recent Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report, published by Aurora Health Care today.

Aurora's quarterly report, published for the first time in December 2014, is intended to gauge consumer sentiment on a variety of health-related topics that matter in the lives of people across Wisconsin and the nation. Administered by Research Now, the survey assesses some 1,500 adults ages 18 and older across Wisconsin and the United States.

To see related infographics, learn more about Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report, or for additional study insights or previous studies, visit

In the first study of 2015, nearly a quarter (23 percent) of people surveyed in Wisconsin and across the country indicated their greatest health concern is cancer, a disease that is diagnosed in more than one million new people each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

"Consumer sentiment on their greatest health concern is consistent across the country," said Anne Martino, vice president of Consumer Insights and Innovation at Aurora Health Care. "The findings of our first quarterly report of 2015 highlight the continued need for education and innovation in cancer care, both here in Wisconsin and nationally."

After cancer, obesity is listed as the second greatest concern for Wisconsin residents, with just shy of one in five (19 percent) people raising it as a concern, compared to only 13 percent of the rest of the nation. According to the most recent Center for Disease Controls Self-Reported Obesity Report in 2014, nearly 30 percent of the state's population (29.8 percent) is obese.

The study also found that female respondents in Wisconsin expressed greater concern (23 percent) with obesity than their male counterparts (15 percent).

Wisconsin's Health Habits

The first quarter 2015 Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report also found Wisconsinites health and wellness behaviours differ, both in the state among men and women, and on a national level. Among key findings:

  • Wisconsinites are less likely (68 percent) to consider their current lifestyle healthy compared to the rest of the nation (75 percent)
  • Fewer Wisconsin residents (57 percent) set annual health and wellness goals as compared to the rest of the nation (62 percent)
  • Wisconsinites are also slower to adopt to the usage of health-related apps, with less than one in five people (19 percent) currently using digital fitness trackers like MapMyRun, etc., versus nearly a quarter of the nation (24 percent).

Wisconsin men and women also differ in regards to just how they view their lifestyles.

  • Men (63 percent) in Wisconsin believe they exercise enough to live a healthy lifestyle, compared to only 50 percent of women.

Stress management differs by gender in Wisconsin

Additional study findings focused on stress management. When asked about how they manage stress, responses from men and women vary significantly, both nationally and in Wisconsin.

  • Women are likely to be moderately to extremely stressed when compared to men, both nationally (28 percent versus 18 percent) and in Wisconsin (31 percent versus 21 percent)
  • Men report to believe they do a better job managing their stress, both nationally (41 percent of men versus 24 percent of women) and in Wisconsin (36 percent of men compared to 26 percent of women)

What matters when choosing a doctor

Finally, when asked about the most important attribute that people look for when selecting a physician, Wisconsin residents' (36 percent) top preference was a personal connection with a physician versus only 28 percent of the rest of the nation.

The least important attribute, according to those polled, were awards or credentials presented by the physician.

Three in four Wisconsin residents get an annual check-up, and 80 percent of people in Wisconsin and nationally indicate they have a primary care doctor.

To see related infographics, learn more about Quarterly Health of Wisconsin Report, or for additional study insights or previous studies, visit The margin of error for the study is +/- 3.6 percent.

About Aurora Health Care

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin's most comprehensive health care provider and the state's largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, 159 clinics, 70 pharmacies and 30,000 amazing Caregivers. As evidenced by more than 400 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account.

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Matt Braun
(414) 299-1547

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