High cholesterol? It could be happening to you…

January 27, 2010

In 2005–2006, 16% of adults had serum total cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL or greater (high cholesterol). The good news is that generally, for Americans 20 years of age and over, cholesterol levels are declining. However, this decline was seen for men 40 years and over and for women 60 years and over, with little change between 1999 and 2006 for all other age-sex groups.

What may be most disconcerting is the fact that many U.S. adults may not even know they have high cholesterol, with data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey finding that 8% of U.S. adults had high cholesterol but had never been told by a health care provider that their cholesterol levels were high. For more data concerning high cholesterol, see the NCHS Data Brief on High Cholesterol. For more information on combating high cholesterol, visit the CDC Webpage on Cholesterol.

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Depression in the United States

January 20, 2010

Depression is a common and debilitating illness. According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is characterized by changes in mood, self-attitude, cognitive functioning, sleep, appetite, and energy level. Here’s some facts about depression in the U.S. you may not know:

  • More than 1 in 20 Americans age 12 and over have depression.
  • More than 1 in 7 poor Americans have depression.
  • Rates of depression were higher in 40-59 year olds, women, and non-Hispanic black persons than in other demographic groups (see the chart below).

For more information, please visit the NCHS FastStats page on depression at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/depression.htm, or visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db07.pdf.


Obesity – Americans still growing, but not as fast

January 14, 2010

New data in the latest Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) from NCHS statisticians show that the increasing rate of obesity may be slowing, although the prevalence of adults who are obese is still high. The numbers from 2007-2008 show that 33.8% of U.S. adults are obese (32.2% for men, 35.5% for women). The growth of the obesity rate in the U.S. over the past 40 years is depicted below.

Obesity by age, United States, 1971-1974 through 2005-2006:

For the data table, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus08.pdf and see Trend Table 75.


Circumcision Trends, by U.S. region, 1980-2006

January 7, 2010

Male newborn infants circumcised during hospitalizations, by U.S. region, 1980-2006:


January is cervical cancer awareness month…

January 6, 2010

Cervical cancer once was the leading cause of cancer death for women in the U.S., and although the cases and deaths of cervical cancer have decreased over the past 40 years due largely to regular Pap tests, the disease still was responsible for almost 4,000 deaths in 2006 (most recent data available). The rates vary somewhat, but not widely, by state. See how your area compares below.

Cervical death rates per 100,000 women, United States, 2006

For more information on cervical cancer, visit http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/index.htm.

For more information on cancer mortality, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/deaths.htm.