Data on deaths due to influenza

April 29, 2009
The National Center for Health Statistics keeps track of mortality (death) across the United States. This includes tracking deaths from the eighth leading cause of death, Influenza and Pneumonia.

The most recent findings (2006) are as follows:

Number of deaths from Influenza and Pneumonia, 2006:  56,326

Age-adjusted death rate for Influenza and Pneumonia (deaths per 100,000 population): 18.8 (down from 21.3 in 2005)

However, influenza by itself is not as deadly. Here, the 2006 numbers show that pneumonia is the factor behind most of the deaths in the category Influenza and Pneumonia.

Number of deaths in 2006 from influenza: 846

Number of deaths in 2006 from pneumonia: 55,477

If you are a member of the media and would like more information, please call 301-458-4378 or visit

Report released on fetal mortality

April 22, 2009
Yesterday, the National Center for Health Statistics released the Data Brief “The Challenge of Fetal Mortality.” Key findings include the following:


  • The magnitude of fetal mortality is considerable: About 1 million fetal deaths occur at any gestational age in the United States each year, including almost 26,000 at 20 weeks of gestation or more.
  • Even when limited to fetal deaths of 20 weeks of gestation or more, nearly as many fetal deaths as infant deaths occur in the United States each year.
  • After decades of decline, the U.S. fetal mortality rate (fetal deaths of 20 weeks of gestation or more) did not decrease from 2003 to 2005.

    For more information, please visit the report at






Health news you may have missed

April 15, 2009

The National Center for Health Statistics’ Office of Public Affairs keeps an archive of previously released press releases going back to 1994. The news releases cover the wide range of important and interesting health topics that our data cover. To search these news releases by date or by subject matter, visit the NCHS Press Room and click on the News Release Archives link.


Some recent highlights:


Teen Birth Rates Up Again in 2007 


Wireless Phone Use Varies Widely Across U.S.


Latest Report on Nation’s Health Focuses on Young Adults


4 in 10 Adults, 1 in 9 Kids Use CAM Therapy


See more at




Births–Using the NCHS Vital Stats Tool

April 8, 2009


NCHS birth tables with a variety of variables for selection are available at

By selecting the national or subnational (i.e., state and some county) levels, you can find specific statistics for national, state, and some county birth rates, fertility rates, method of delivery (vaginal or cesarean), length of pregnancy, birthweight, characteristics of the mother (i.e., age, race, marital status, education), prenatal care, and risk factors (i.e., diabetes, hypertension, and smoking). For journalists who need assistance, feel free to contact the NCHS press office.

How you can use CDC WONDER

April 1, 2009

Are you interested in finding death statistics? Leading causes of death or specific death rates by age, race, ethnicity, and sex (as well as other selected characteristics) are available in the WONDER database ( You can utilize this resource to get death rates data, but it also can be used to build tables, charts, and graphs. Several specific features are listed below:

– On the main WONDER page, click on “Leading Causes of Death” to build leading cause of death tables by race, ethnicity, and/or sex. Once the table pops up, click on “Unintentional Injury,” “Suicide,” or “Homicide,” to get more specific causes of death.

-On the main WONDER page, click on “Mortality – underlying cause of death” and select desired years. Select various characteristics (age group, sex, race/ethnicity, state, cause of death, and injury intent) to receive a detailed death rate report. The report also has “map” and “chart” options available–just click on the tabs at the top of the report.

Assistance is always available–contact 301-458-4800 if you are a journalist or 800-232-4636 if you are a member of the general public.