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Q: US population healthier or sicker? ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: US population healthier or sicker?
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: solars-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 10 Nov 2005 13:36 PST
Expires: 10 Dec 2005 13:36 PST
Question ID: 591606
Looking for a source for statistics showing whether the US population
is becoming healthier, or sicker, since the 1960's or 1970's.
Subject: Re: US population healthier or sicker?
Answered By: googlenut-ga on 10 Nov 2005 19:11 PST
Hello solars-ga,

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is a very good source
for health statistics.

U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Health Statistics

According to NCHS, the overall health of the nation has improved over
the last 50 years.

National Center for Health Statistics.
Health, United States, 2004
With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans.
Hyattsville, Maryland: 2004.
(see page 3)
?Overall Health of the Nation

The health of the Nation has continued to improve overall, in part
because of the resources that have been devoted to health education,
public health programs, health research, and health care. The United
States spends more per capita than any other country on health, and
the rate of increase in spending is going up. Much of this spending is
on health care?notable examples are prescription drugs and cardiac
operations?that control or reduce the impact of chronic diseases and
conditions affecting an increasingly older population.

Over the past 50 years many diseases have been controlled or their
morbidity and mortality substantially reduced. A decline in the death
rate from heart disease is an example of a major public health
achievement and is in large part a result of public education
campaigns emphasizing a healthy lifestyle and increased use of
cholesterol-lowering medications (1). Public health and private
efforts to improve motor vehicle transportation safety, as well as to
increase safety in homes and workplaces, have contributed to lower
death rates caused by unintentional injuries for children and adults.
Finally, the decline in the death rate for HIV disease in
the 1990s (table 42) demonstrates how new medical treatments can
dramatically delay or decrease the number of deaths caused by a
particular disease. Yet even as progress is made in improving both the
quantity and quality of life, increases in longevity are associated
with increased prevalence of chronic conditions. Equally important is
the fact that these improvements have not been equally distributed by
income, race, ethnicity, education, and geography.

Health Status and Its Determinants

Life expectancy in the United States has shown a long-term upward
trend. Infant mortality and mortality from heart disease, stroke, and
unintentional injuries are all substantially lower than in 1950,
contributing to the upward trend in life expectancy (figure 25 and
tables 22, 29, 36, and 37). However, men and women in many other
countries have longer life expectancies than in the United States. For
example, in 1999 life expectancy at birth in Japan was more than 3
years longer for men and more than 4 years longer for women than in
the United States (table 26).?

Table 27 (page 143) shows life expectancy at birth increased from 69.7
in 1960 to 77.3 in 2002.

Table 57 (page 217) shows that percent of persons with fair or poor
health decreased from 10.4 in 1991 to 9.3 in 2002.

The 1975 report, Table CD.I.30 (page 243), shows 12.2 percent of
persons with fair or poor health (9.4 fair, 2.8 poor).

National Center for Health Statistics 
Health, United States, 1975

For much more detail, including plots and charts, see the following page:

National Center for Health Statistics
Health, United States, 2004
With Chartbook on
Trends in the Health of Americans with Special Feature on Drugs

I hope you have found this information helpful.  If you have any
questions, please let me know by using the request for clarification
feature prior to rating the answer.


Search Strategy: Previous knowledge of the National Center for Health
Statistics website.
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