America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being

July 19, 2007

Last Friday we released the 10th anniversary edition of America’s Children, a product of the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.

The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (Forum) is a collection of 22 Federal government agencies involved in research and activities related to children and families. The Forum was founded in 1994 and formally established in April 1997 under Executive Order No. 13045. The mission of the Forum is to foster coordination and collaboration and to enhance and improve consistency in the collection and reporting of Federal data on children and families. The Forum also aims to improve the reporting and dissemination of information on the status of children and families.

Quite a bit of media interest was generated (here | here) on the subject of teen sexual behavior but there was much more to the report. The full report is available here and our overview of the data on health indicators which we contributed to is below the fold.

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Pandemic Flu

July 19, 2007

Pandemic flu is not tracked by the National Center for Health Statistics. For the best resources on pandemic or avian flu visit the pandemic flu website.


Mother’s Age at First Birth

July 19, 2007

One of the interesting demographic phenomena is the steady upwards creep in the age of women when they give birth to their first child.

In 1940 the age at first birth was 23.0 years. It dipped downwards to 21.5 in 1960 and was at 25.2 in 2004.

The data can be found here.


Ambulatory Care Visits

July 19, 2007

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today issued a new report, “Ambulatory Medical Care Utilization Estimates for 2005,” which contains information on patient visits to emergency departments, outpatient clinics, and physician offices.

Highlights of the report:

  • There were over 1.2 billion patient visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient clinics, and emergency rooms in 2005.  Over the past decade, rates of visits per population increased for all types of health care settings studied. 
  • In the emergency department, the visit rate for patients with no insurance was about twice that of those with private insurance.
  • Conversely, patient visits to physician offices were higher for individuals with private health insurance compared with uninsured persons.
  • Over 29 percent of all ambulatory care visits were for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and one in four were for preventive care, including check-ups, prenatal care, and post-surgical care.
  • There were 2.4 billion medications prescribed or administered at these visits.

Available for download.


More Obesity Resources

July 18, 2007

We’ve written a couple of times on the subject of overweight and obesity. However, some of our research has been published in scholarly journals rather than on our website.

The journal Obesity: Racial and Ethnic Differences in Secular Trends for Childhood BMI, Weight, and Height

The journal Gastroenterology: The Epidemiology of Obesity. More data on overweight and at-risk of overweight in children.

The Journal of the American Medical Association. Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity.

The journal Clinical Nutrition and Obesity. Childhood Overweight and Family Income in the United States, 1999-2004.


Circumcision Rates

July 18, 2007

Circumcision is a topic that has vigorous advocates for and against.

 As a statistical agency we don’t have a view on that particular subject but we do track male infant circumcision through our National Hospital Discharge Survey.

Our publication Trends in circumcisions among newborns can be downloaded as can this table showing numbers of circumsicisions and the percentage of infant boys receiving the procedure from 1979 through 2005.


Births at home and births by midwife

July 6, 2007

Home birthing and the use of a midwife versus a doctor is often the subject of discussion on the pages of popular magazines.

As part of our study of births, the National Center for Health Statistics produces data on the place of birth and who is attendant at that birth annually.  Those data from 1990 through 2004 are here.