QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged 18 Years or Older With Fair or Poor Health by Urbanization Level and Age Group

July 30, 2021

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In 2019, the percentage of adults aged 18 years or older reported to be in fair or poor health was higher among those living in nonmetropolitan areas (20.3%) than among those living in metropolitan areas (14.5%).

Percentages in fair or poor health were higher in nonmetropolitan areas for those aged 18–39 years (10.9% versus 7.4%) and 40–64 years (22.9% versus 16.2%), but the difference by urbanization level did not reach statistical significance for adults aged 65 years or older (27.2% versus 24.7%).

The percentage reporting fair or poor health increased with age in both nonmetropolitan and metropolitan areas.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7030a3.htm


NCHS Releases New Reports This Week on Hearing Difficulty and Back/Limb pain among U.S. Adults

July 29, 2021

NCHS Releases two new reports this week on hearing difficulty and back/limb pain.

DB414_COver1The first report presents difficulties with hearing even when using a hearing aid among U.S. adults aged 18 and over by level of difficulty and age, sex, and race and Hispanic origin. It also presents estimates of the prevalence of hearing aid use among adults aged 45 and over to focus on the age group with higher rates of hearing difficulties.

Key Findings:

  • In 2019, 13.0% of adults aged 18 and over had some difficulty hearing even when using a hearing aid and 1.6% either had a lot of difficulty hearing or could not hear at all, even when using a hearing aid.
  • Hearing difficulties increased with age with 26.8% of those aged 65 and over having some difficulty and 4.1% having a lot of difficulty or could not hear at all.
  • Among adults aged 45 and over, men were more likely than women to have had some or a lot of difficulty or could
    not hear at all.
  • Non-Hispanic white adults aged 45–64 had higher rates of some difficulty, a lot of difficulty, or being unable to
    hear at all, compared with other race and Hispanic origin groups.
  • In 2019, 7.1% of adults aged 45 and over used a hearing aid; use was higher among men than women in all age groups.

DB415_Cover1The second report provides national estimates of any pain regardless of body region as well as estimates of back, lower limb (hips, knees, or feet), and upper limb (hands, arms, or shoulders) pain in the past 3 months among U.S. adults aged 18 and over by selected sociodemographic characteristics.

Key Findings:

  • In 2019, 39.0% of adults had back pain, 36.5% had lower limb pain, and 30.7% had upper limb pain in the past 3 months.
  • Adults aged 65 and over, women, non-Hispanic white adults, and those with income below 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL) were most likely to experience back pain.
  • Adults aged 18–29 (21.0%), men (33.5%), non-Hispanic Asian adults (20.6%), and those with income 200% of FPL or
    above (35.2%) were least likely to experience lower limb pain.
  • Adults aged 65 and over, women, non-Hispanic white adults, and those with income below 100% of FPL were most likely to experience

PODCAST: The 2020 Decline in Life Expectancy

July 21, 2021

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/podcasts/2021/20210721/20210721.htm

podcast-iconHOST:  In February, we had a discussion with Elizabeth Arias with the NCHS Division of Vital Statistics about life expectancy in the United States during the first half of 2020, right as the pandemic was taking hold.  Americans lost a full year of life expectancy during that first part of 2020.  Today we feature the sequel to that conversation, as this week NCHS is releasing full-year life expectancy estimates for 2020.

HOST:  Can you tell us if life expectancy dropped more in the second half of 2020 than in the first half?

ELIZABETH ARIAS: Yes it did – life expectancy declined an additional amount during the second half of 2020 and it did so more for some groups than for other groups.  For example, for the Hispanic population it declined an additional 1.1 years.  For the non- Hispanic white population it declined an additional .4 years and for the non-Hispanic black population it declined an additional .2 years.

HOST:  So overall what was the total decline in life expectancy for 2020?

ELIZABETH ARIAS: It was 1 1/2 years.

HOST: So it’s another half year of decline from the first half then?

ELIZABETH ARIAS: That’s right.

HOST:  Were you surprised it didn’t drop more than 1.5 years given how bad the pandemic became near the end of 2020?

ELIZABETH ARIAS:  No. I was not surprised because the number of excess deaths would have had to be even larger than they were for the decline to have been greater.  And in addition half a year is a substantial amount – it sounds like a small change, but in terms of the way that mortality changes over time which is rather gradual, and it has been gradual and consistent ever since the 1940s, for example.  We have seen an increase gradually increase in life expectancy year to year, and of course a gradual decrease in mortality year to year.  So a half a year is substantial, so if we would have added another year of decline that would have meant that the number of deaths were even greater than what we saw.

HOST: OK so you mentioned some of the declines among race Hispanic groups- what about declines among men versus women?

ELIZABETH ARIAS:  We have seen the gap in life expectancy between men and women decline over the decades.  It started out rather large at the beginning of the 20th century, with women having higher mortality and lower life expectancy than men – that was mainly due to high rates of maternal mortality.  And then we saw over time men having higher mortality and women having greater advantage in terms of life expectancy.  Over time we’ve seen that this change and particularly during the latter part of the 20th century and early part of the 21st century.  The main reason for the decline in the gap, in the difference between the two, has been that life expectancy has been increasing at a faster pace or rate for men.  In other words, men had been catching up to women, and what happened in 2020 with the pandemic is that men experienced higher mortality than women did, and so they basically lost some of what they had achieved during the previous decades.

HOST: Now are you planning to release mid-year 2021 estimates like you did with 2020?

ELIZABETH ARIAS: That’s a good question and I believe we are. I don’t know definitively.

HOST: With 200,000 plus deaths from COVID-19 so far in 2021, would we expect to see another drop in life expectancy?

ELIZABETH ARIAS: No actually, I think what we would see is a small increase in life expectancy in comparison to what we saw in 2020.  In order for us to see another decline in life expectancy we would have to have a greater number of excess deaths than what we have seen so far.  So I would say that we would probably see life expectancy go up but it won’t return to what it was in 2019.

HOST: Now the drop in life expectancy for 2020 was 1.5 years, and yet way back 100 years ago plus, the Spanish flu pandemic resulted in an 11.8 year decline in 1918.  Why the huge difference?

ELIZABETH ARIAS:  Well, you have to think about number of deaths during the Spanish influenza.  So there were over 600,000 deaths, and also you have to think about the size of the population then.  It was a significantly smaller population than what we have today. So you know in 2020 we had 385,000 deaths and a population of over 330 million and back in 1918 we had over 600,000 deaths and – I don’t remember the number of the population at the time – but it was a lot smaller than it is so that translates into much larger death rates and as a result a greater decline in life expectancy.

HOST:  Are there any plans to down the road look at vaccination and deaths from COVID or vaccination and life expectancy?  Anything planned along those lines?

ELIZABETH ARIAS:  That would be really interesting and I don’t know if we would have the data for that. I think if the National Health Interview Survey asks that question – if people, you know, were vaccinated – or the NHANES… And since we link those surveys to our mortality data, we may be able to look at mortality by vaccination status.  But from our data, from vital statistics – in other words from the death certificate – we would not be able to see that.  We would have to have some sort of data that’s linked to our mortality data.

HOST:  OK well thanks for talking to us again Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH ARIAS:   You’re welcome.  Thank you.

MUSIC BRIDGE

HOST:  Through the week ending on July 14, there have been 213,413 COVID-19 deaths recorded on death certificates in the United States during this year.  Deaths occurring in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities have declined from 22% of all COVID deaths in 2020 to 13% of the total so far in 2021.  81% of deaths in 2020 were among people age 65 and up; that percentage has dropped slightly in 2021 to less than 77%.  Deaths in the 45-64 year age group have risen from 16.6% of all deaths in 2020 to over 20% in 2021.  Total excess deaths in the U.S. since February 1, 2020 have topped 663,000, with approximately 80% or more of those deaths due to COVID-19.


Latest Quarterly Infant Mortality Rate Estimates

July 20, 2021

NCHS released the latest quarterly estimates of infant mortality rates in the U.S.

The data shows infant mortality rate in the United States was 5.43 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the one-year period ending in September 2020, no significant change from the year before.

The data is featured in a web-based interactive dashboard at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/infant-mortality-dashboard.htm


QuickStats: Percentage of Men and Women Aged 25–49 Years Who Spent at Least One Night in the Past 12 Months at an Alternate Location Because They Did Not Have a Permanent Place To Stay, by Type of Location

July 16, 2021

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Among adults aged 25–49 years, a higher percentage of men (4.1%) than women (2.3%) stayed at least overnight in a shelter or car or outdoors in the past 12 months because they did not have a permanent place to stay.

A higher percentage of men (6.4%) than women (4.1%) stayed at least overnight with a friend or relative in the past year.

Among both men and women, the percentage who stayed at least overnight with a friend or relative was higher than the percentage who stayed at least overnight in a shelter or car or outdoors.

Source: National Survey of Family Growth, 2017–2019. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/index.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7028a4.htm


PODCAST: Drowning Deaths Among U.S. Children

July 16, 2021

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/podcasts/2021/20210716/20210716.htm

podcast-iconHOST:  We’re joined today by Merianne Spencer, the author of a new study on accidental drowning deaths among children in the United States.

HOST:  So briefly describe to us the scope of the problem.

MERIANNE SPENCER:  Sure.  So unintentional drowning deaths are the second leading cause of injury death among children, those aged zero to 17, and is also the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for those ages one to four, so for this study we wanted to look at national trends from 1999 to 2019 by demographic characteristics and also by urban-rural status to see what the patterns were over the past two decades among children.

HOST:  So you say that drowning deaths are the second leading cause of unintentional death among kids – what was the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in that age group?

MERIANNE SPENCER:   The leading cause of death for unintentional injuries is motor vehicle traffic deaths, followed by drowning and then poisoning and then suffocation.  But it’s important to note that motor vehicle traffic deaths are much higher.  In 2019, there were almost 2000 deaths whereas for drowning there were pretty much half the amount.  Motor vehicle traffic deaths is much higher.

HOST:  How has this problem changed over time?

MERIANNE SPENCER:   So over the past two decades drowning deaths have decreased – roughly a 38 percent decline over the past two decades.

HOST:  Do we have any idea why drowning deaths have declined over the past two decades?  Are there any CDC programs that are targeting this problem?

MERIANNE SPENCER:  Looking at prevention programs, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control – they provide a lot of information about the prevention of drowning, including pool safety, swimming safety tips and other considerations for water safety within the home. I would also look to prevention resources such as “Safe Kids Worldwide” and the “World Safety USA Network” but there are various programs that have been looking at improving safety for drowning among children and targeting that public health issue.

HOST:  Now one would assume that drowning deaths tend to spike during the summer months – is that an accurate assumption?  What did the data tell us about seasonality?

MERIANNE SPENCER:  There’s definitely a seasonality with respect to driving death.  So typically, the number of unintentional drowning deaths are lowest during colder months such as January or December, as well as in the Fall.  The number of deaths tend to rise sometime in April and they peak around June and July and decrease as it goes towards September.  So yes, it is an accurate assumption that there is a spike in around the warmer months when children might be swimming or going to the pool.

HOST: So which groups are more at risk for drowning deaths?

MERIANNE SPENCER:   Our study found that males are definitely at greater risk for unintentional drownings – they had higher rates of unintentional drowning deaths over the past two decades compared to females.  We also saw that those aged one to four had the highest rates of drowning compared to other age groups.  So much higher among those aged one to four years of age.  We also saw that rates were higher among non-Hispanic black children compared to non-Hispanic white children and Hispanics over the study period. And also we saw children were at higher risk for unintentional drownings in rural areas compared to urban areas.

HOST:  And what did the data tell us about places that are most risky for kids in terms of being a potential drowning risk?

MERIANNE SPENCER:  Our study found that death varied by age groups.  So those that were less than a year of age had a higher percentage that died in a bathtub, whereas those that at age 1 to four or five to 13 had the greatest percentage of deaths in swimming pools and those aged 14 to 17 were more likely to die in natural water such as lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans.  So there is definitely a difference by age group in the places where drowning deaths occurred.

HOST:  Are there any plans for further studies on this topic?

MERIANNE SPENCER: We are interested in looking at those places of drowning by looking at the literal text or the written information on the death certificate records to see if we can get a little bit more information.  Currently the study is focused on using the ICD-10 codes to look at places of drowning but maybe we can get some more insight about this finding in a future study.

HOST:  You mentioned the literal text – that’s the same kind of technique that’s been used on some studies looking at the types of drugs involved in overdose deaths is that correct?

MERIANNE SPENCER:  Yes that’s correct.  So by looking at the written information by medical examiners and coroners we might be able to tease out some information beyond the coding on ICD-10 codes or get more specificity on the place of drowning or some context around the drowning deaths so that’s something we might be looking into for a future study for this topic.

MUSICAL BRIDGE

HOST:  This week, NCHS released the first, full-year provisional data from 2020 on drug overdose deaths in America.  The new release shows a nearly 30% increase in deaths, from over 72,000 estimated deaths in 2019 to more than 93,000 deaths in 2020.

Three-quarters of all overdose deaths involve opioids – or nearly 70,000 deaths.  Much of the 2020 spike was the result of increases in deaths from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl.  Deaths from psychostimulants such as methamphetamine also continued to increase in 2020, as did deaths from cocaine and from natural and semi-synthetic opioids such as prescription pain medication.

The first 2021 data on overdose deaths will be released in August of this year.


Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Up Nearly 30% in 2020

July 14, 2021

drug_OD_2020The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has released full-year 2020 provisional drug overdose death data that estimates 93,331 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 2020, an increase of 29.4% from the 72,151 deaths predicted in 2019.

The data featured in an interactive web data visualization estimates overdose deaths from opioids increased from 50,963 in 2019 to 69,710 in 2020. Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) and psychostimulants such as methamphetamine also increased in 2020 compared to 2019. Cocaine deaths also increased in 2020, as did deaths from natural and semi-synthetic opioids (such as prescription pain medication).


Urban-rural Differences in Dental Care Use Among Adults Aged 18−64

July 7, 2021

DB412_Cover1Questions for Amy Cha, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Urban-rural Differences in Dental Care Use Among Adults Aged 18−64.”

Q: How does the data vary by sex, race, and income level?

AC: In both urban and rural areas, the percentage of adults aged 18-64 who had a dental visit in the past 12 months was higher among women and non-Hispanic white adults than men and Hispanic adults. Also, the percentage of adults who had a dental visit increased as family income increased in both urban and rural areas.


Q: Why did you decide to look at dental visits by urbanicity?

AC: Studies have shown that disparities exist in access to and use of dental care, especially between rural and urban areas. So, we decided to look at dental visits by urbanicity.


Q: Were you surprised by any of the findings in this report?

AC: We were surprised that the percentage of adults aged 18-64 with a dental visit in the past 12 months was significantly different between those residing in urban and rural areas.


Q: What is the take home message in this report?

AC: This report examined urban-rural differences in dental care use among adults aged 18-64, and its variation by sex, race and ethnicity, and family income as a percentage of the federal poverty level.


Q: Anything else that you would like share from the report?

AC: It has been reported that persons living in rural areas were less likely to have a preventive dental visit, but more likely to seek emergency dental treatment than those residing in urban areas. As shown in this report, the lower percentage of dental care utilization in rural areas may be attributed to the lower density of dental care providers in these areas.


QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged 18 Years or Older with Diagnosed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, by Urbanization Level and Age Group — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2019

July 2, 2021

In 2019, the percentage of adults aged 18 years or older with diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was higher among those living in nonmetropolitan areas (8.0%) than among those living in metropolitan areas (4.0%).

Percentages were higher in nonmetropolitan areas for adults aged 45–64 years (10.0% versus 4.8%) and aged 65 years or older (14.5% versus 9.5%), but the difference by urbanization level was not statistically significant for adults aged 18–44 years (1.9% versus 1.2%).

The prevalence of diagnosed COPD increased with age in both nonmetropolitan and metropolitan areas.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7026a3.htm


New Interactive Healthy People 2020 Pie Charts

June 30, 2021

New Healthy People 2020 Progress Table is a component of the Healthy People 2020 Final Review and summarizes the final progress of objectives at the end of its 10-year initiative.

The pie charts provide a summary by objective type and final progress status of the 1,111 measurable and 985 trackable objectives (objectives with a baseline value, at least one follow-up data point, and a target).

The final progress was generally measured using the latest data available as of January 2020.