'Report Card on the Nation's Health'

6/30/2017

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released “Health, United States 2016.” This is the 40th annual report card on the nation’s health. This year’s Chartbook examines long-term trends in the health of the U.S. population and the health care system, over the past 40 years.

Health, United States, 2016” was prepared by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).  The report includes data from a variety of federal government and private sector sources and is organized around four major areas: health status and determinants, health care utilization, health care resources, and health care expenditures.

Selected highlights include:

  • POPULATION: The U.S. population grew from 216.0 million to 321.4 million between 1975 and 2015.
    • The number of Americans aged 65 and over increased from 22.6 million to 47.8 million during 1975–2015.
    • In 1980, 20.1% of the population identified as racial or ethnic minorities; by 2015, 38.4% of the population identified as racial or ethnic minorities.
    • During 1975–2015, children under 18 were more likely to live in poverty than adults aged 18-64, and adults 65 and over.
    • The rural (nonmetropolitan) share of the population declined between 1970 and 2015, while the suburban share of the population increased.
  • LIFE EXPECTANCY: Between 1975 and 2015, life expectancy increased by 6.2 years for the total population and increased for males and females.
  • INFANT MORTALITY: The infant mortality rate decreased 63%, from 16.07 to 5.90 deaths per 1,000 live births between 1975 and 2015.
  • CAUSES OF DEATH: Heart disease and cancer were the top two causes of death in the U.S. throughout the past 4 decades.
  • CIGARETTE SMOKING: Between 1974 and 2015, the age-adjusted prevalence of current cigarette smoking among persons aged 25 and over decreased from 36.9% to 15.6%. In 2015, men and women aged 25 and over with no high school diploma were more than four times as likely to smoke as those with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • OBESITY: The age-adjusted percentage of adults aged 20 and over with obesity increased steadily from 22.9% in 1988–1994 to 37.8% in 2013–2014.
  • PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: For all adult age groups, the percentage taking one or more prescription drug in the past month increased between 1988–1994 and 2013–2014. Among adults aged 65 and over, use of five or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days increased from 13.8% to 42.2% in same time period.
  • HEALTH INSURANCE: Between 1978 and September 2016 (preliminary data), the percentage of children under age 18 who were uninsured decreased from 12.0% to 5.0%; the percentage with Medicaid coverage increased from 11.3% to 39.2%; and the percentage with private coverage decreased from 75.1% to 53.5%.

Health, United States 2016” with “Chartbook on Long-term Trends in Health” is available on the NCHS web site at: www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm.

 

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