The cost of complementary and alternative medicine

July 30, 2009

A new report examining the costs of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and visits to CAM practitioners was released by NCHS today, in conjunction with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. The report estimates that–

  • Adults in the U.S. spent $33.9 billion out of pocket on visits to CAM practioners and on CAM products, classes, and material.

  • In 2007, 38.1 million adults made an estimated 354.2 million visits to CAM practioners.

  • On average, adults in the U.S. spent $121.92 per person for vists to CAM providers and paid $29.37 out of pocket per visit.

For more from this report, visit

Vaccination coverage does not reach national objectives

July 22, 2009

Vaccinations are responsible for reducing disease and death; however, vaccinations among certain population subgroups remain low, and national health objectives have not been met. Despite 2010 influenza and pneumococcal vaccination objectives of 90% for adults 65 and over and 60% for younger, high-risk adults, only 66% of the former and 35% of the latter received an influenza vaccination during the 2006-2007 vaccination period. Also, only 60% of those 65 years and over have ever received a pneumococcal vaccination, and levels vary a great deal by race and ethnicity.

For more, including information about tetanus and HPV vaccination coverage, visit the report.

Underweight older adults, children decrease in U.S.

July 15, 2009

Poor nutrition or underlying health conditions can sometimes cause a person to be underweight. Data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that an estimated 1.8% of U.S. adults are underweight. Between 1988-1994 and 2003-2006, a statistically significant decrease in the percentage of those underweight was found only among those aged 60 and over. In this age group, the percentage underweight was 2.3% in 1988-1994 and 1.2% in 2003-2006.

For more, visit

Results from the 2003-2006 NHANES showed that about 3.3% of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are underweight. Trends from 1971-1974 to 2003-2006 show that there has been an overall significant decrease in underweight children and adolescents, from 5.1% to 3.3%. Underweight significantly decreased from 5.8% to 2.8% among 2-5 year olds and from 5.3% to 2.7% among 6-11 year olds. Among adolescents aged 12-19, underweight decreased, although not significantly, from 4.7% to 3.8% during the same time period.

For more, visit

Federal report on America’s children released

July 10, 2009

Federal interagency report shows declines in preterm birth and low birthweight. Children more likely to live in poverty, less likely to have parent employed full time.

These and other statistics have been compiled in America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009. It is compiled by a number of federal agencies and provides a comprehensive picture of the following key areas of child well-being: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.

To access the report, please visit

Who marries when?

July 1, 2009

Did you know–

  • More woman than men get married before age 40 (86% compared with 81%).
  • Non-Hispanic black men and women aged 25–44 have
    lower percentages who have ever been married than non-Hispanic white and Hispanic persons of the same age.
  • The probability of first marriage by age 18 is low for both men and women: 6% for women and 2% for men.
  • There is a 50% probability that women will have married for the first time by the age of 25. Not until age 27 is there a 50% probability that men will have married for the first time.

For more information, which comes from the National Survey of Family Growth, visit