PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of pubhealthrepLink to Publisher's site
 
Public Health Rep. 2012 Nov-Dec; 127(6): 602–604.
PMCID: PMC3461853

NCHS Dataline

In May 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) published its 35th annual “Health, United States” report. As in previous years, the 2011 edition reports on the nation's health in detailed trend tables, a chartbook, a smaller report of highlights, and a table summarizing the status of key indicators. This year, the special feature in the chartbook is on socioeconomic status and health. Also released in May 2012 were reports from NCHS presenting the latest data and trends on hospitalization for stroke and key indicators for oral health.

REPORT PROFILES HEALTH OF THE NATION

Each year, NCHS publishes “Health, United States” to report on the health of the nation. NCHS prepares the report for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to submit to the President and the Congress of the United States. Drawing on data from all of the NCHS data systems and other public and private sources, “Health, United States, 2011: With Special Feature on Socioeconomic Status and Health,”1 presents 151 detailed tables with findings in four major areas: health status and determinants, utilization of health resources, health-care resources, and health-care expenditures and payers. The 45 charts in the chartbook highlight some of the findings in an easy-to-read format. This year's special feature in the chartbook examines the relationship between socioeconomic status, as measured by income and education, and health.

“Health, United States, 2011: In Brief”2 is a stand-alone companion to the full report. This short report highlights trends in selected health statistics, each of which is presented in greater detail in the full report. “In Brief” contains summary information on the health of the American people, including mortality and life expectancy; morbidity and risk factors, such as cigarette smoking, overweight, and obesity; access to and utilization of health care; health insurance coverage; supply of health-care resources; and health expenditures. An “At a Glance” table, in both the full brief reports, summarizes some of these key indicators at the national level.

Highlights of the socioeconomic feature of the report included:

  • In 2007–2010, higher levels of education among heads of households resulted in lower rates of obesity among children and adolescents 2–19 years of age. In households where the head of household had less than a high school education, 24% of boys and 22% of girls were obese. In households where the head of household had a bachelor's degree or higher education, obesity prevalence was 11% for males aged 2–19 years and 7% for their female counterparts.
  • In 2007–2010, women 25 years of age and older with education less than a bachelor's degree were more likely to be obese than those with a bachelor's degree or higher education. Obesity prevalence among adult males did not vary consistently with level of education.
  • In 2010, 31% of adults 25–64 years of age with a high school diploma or less education were current smokers, compared with 24% of adults with some college and 9% of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher education. Overall, in the same year, 19% of U.S. adults aged 18 years and older were current cigarette smokers, a decline from 21% in 2009.
  • From 1996 to 2006, the gap in life expectancy at age 25 years between those with less than a high school education and those with a bachelor's degree or higher education increased by 1.9 years for men and 2.8 years for women. On average, in 2006, 25-year-old men without a high school diploma had a life expectancy that was 9.3 years less than those with a bachelor's degree or higher education. Women without a high school diploma had a life expectancy that was 8.6 years less than those with a bachelor's degree or higher education.
  • From 2000 to 2010, the percentage of children with a family income below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL) who were uninsured decreased from 22% to 11%–13%, the percentage of children with a family income at 200%–399% of FPL who were uninsured decreased from 9% to 7%, and the percentage of children with a family income at $400% of FPL who were uninsured decreased from 3% to 2%.

Other highlights from the report included:

  • In 2010, half of adults 18 years of age and older failed to meet both the aerobic activity and the muscle-strengthening federal physical activity recommendations. Older adults were less likely than younger adults to meet the federal physical activity recommendations—39% of adults 18–24 years of age did not meet the recommendations vs. 70% of adults aged 75 years and older.
  • The percentage of women 40 years of age and older who had a mammogram in the past two years remained steady at 67%–70% during the 10-year period from 2000 to 2010. During the same period, the percentage of adults aged 50–75 years with a recent colorectal test or procedure increased from 34% to 59%.

In addition to the tables and charts, the report includes useful information on data sources, definitions and methods, and an index. A technical notes section describes the methodology employed for statistical testing in the chartbook. The chartbook and trend tables are available on the site as downloadable PDFs and Microsoft® Excel spreadsheets. The site also includes Excel spreadsheets of additional years of data for selected trend tables and standard errors for selected estimates, as well as all the charts in PowerPoint format. For ease of locating data on specific topics, the charts and tables are also grouped by topics, such as older adults, racial/ethnic groups, and state data.

Data users can visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/hus_electronic_mailing.htm to sign up for the “Health, United States” electronic mailing list and receive information about “Health, United States” activities, products, and release dates. List members also receive notices of updates to existing tables.

STROKE HOSPITALIZATION TRENDS

According to a new report, “Hospitalizations for Stroke in U.S. Hospitals, 1989–2009,”3 the rate of hospitalization for stroke (cerebrovascular disease) per 10,000 population increased from 32.4 in 1989 to 34.9 in 1999, and then decreased to 31.8 in 2009. About 800,000 hospitalizations for stroke occurred in 1989, and nearly one million hospitalizations occurred during both 1999 and 2009. More than two-thirds of these hospitalizations were for patients aged 65 years and older; the average age of a hospitalized stroke patient was similar (70–71 years) in 1989, 1999, and 2009. The rate of hospitalization for those aged 65 years and older increased with age throughout the period, but all age groups experienced a decline from 1999 to 2009. In that decade, the stroke hospitalization rate decreased by 20% for those aged 65–74 years and $85 years, and by 24% for those aged 75–84 years. In 1989, 43% of patients hospitalized for stroke were males, but by 2009, the proportions of male and female stroke patients were similar.

The average length of stay for stroke patients was similar in 1999 (5.4 days) and 2009 (5.3 days), but was significantly shorter than the average hospital stay of 10.2 days in 1989. In all three years, most patients—approximately 60%—had a routine discharge, usually to their home. Smaller percentages of stroke patients were discharged to other short-term facilities (5%–7%) or long-term facilities (16%–18%). A smaller percentage of stroke patients died in the hospital in 2009 (5%) than in 1989 (8%) or 1999 (7%). Although stroke inpatients comprised only about 3% of total hospitalizations, they died at more than twice the rate of other patients in 1989, 1999, and 2009.

Data for this report are from the National Hospital Discharge Survey, a national probability sample survey of discharges from nonfederal, short-stay hospitals or general hospitals in the United States.

ORAL HEALTH INDICATORS

A new report presents data on key indicators of oral health: untreated dental caries, dental restorations (dental filling, crown, or other restorative material applied to the tooth), use of dental sealants, and loss of natural teeth in the United States by age, race/ethnicity, and poverty level in 2005–2008. Findings from “Selected Oral Health Indicators in the United States, 2005–2008”4 are based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a continuing, nationally representative survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population using standardized physical exams, interviews, and laboratory testing to monitor the health of Americans.

Data from the NHANES show that more than one in five people had untreated dental caries in 2005–2008, with the lowest prevalence—about 13%—among adolescents aged 12–19 years. The prevalence of untreated dental caries varied significantly by poverty level, with those living in households with incomes below 100% of FPL being twice as likely as those with household incomes at $200% of FPL to have untreated dental caries. This income differential was present across all age groups. Differences by race/ethnicity were also documented. The prevalence of untreated caries was nearly twice as high among non-Hispanic black people (34%) compared with non-Hispanic white people (18%) in 2005–2008. Prevalence of untreated caries was significantly higher for both non-Hispanic black and Mexican American people compared with non-Hispanic white children and adults.

As expected, the prevalence of existing dental restorations increased as individuals aged from childhood into adulthood and plateaued starting at 45 years of age and older. Thirty-nine percent of children aged 5–11 years and 52% of adolescents aged 12–19 years had a dental restoration. The prevalence of having a dental restoration increased to 79% for adults aged 20–44 years and then to nearly 92% for those aged 45–64 years. Dental restoration prevalence was 88% for those aged 65–74 years and 89% for those aged 75 years and older.

Twenty-seven percent of children and adolescents aged 5–19 years had at least one dental sealant. Thirty percent of non-Hispanic white children and adolescents had a dental sealant compared with 23% of Mexican American children and adolescents and 17% of non-Hispanic black children and adolescents. Dental sealant prevalence was significantly lower for children and adolescents aged 5–19 years living in households with incomes below 200% of FPL (20%–22%) compared with those living in households with incomes at $200% of FPL (32%).

Approximately 49% of adults aged 20–64 years had a full set of permanent teeth (excluding third molars). Tooth retention was higher among Mexican American (52%) and non-Hispanic white (51%) people, whereas only 38% of non-Hispanic black people had experienced no tooth loss due to dental disease. For adults aged 20–64 years living at $200% of FPL, 52% had not lost a permanent tooth; approximately 40% of adults living below 100% of FPL had retained all of their permanent teeth.

Footnotes

NCHS Dataline was prepared by Sandra S. Smith, MPH, Communications Consultant at the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

REFERENCES

1. National Center for Health Statistics (US). Hyattsville (MD): NCHS; 2012. [cited 2012 Jul 31]. Health, United States, 2011: with special feature on socioeconomic status and health. Also available from: URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm. [PubMed]
2. National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2011: in brief. Hyattsville (MD): NCHS; 2012.
3. Hall MJ, Levant S, DeFrances CJ. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2012. [cited 2012 Jul 31]. Hospitalization for stroke in U.S. hospitals, 1989-2009. NCHS data brief no. 95. Also available from: URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db95.htm.
4. Dye BA, Li X, Beltrán-Aguilar ED. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2012. [cited 2012 Jul 31]. Selected oral health indicators in the United States, 2005-2008. NCHS data brief no. 96. Also available from: URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db96.htm.

Articles from Public Health Reports are provided here courtesy of Association of Schools of Public Health