Prescription Sleep Aid Use

August 29, 2013

According to estimates, 50–70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders or deprivation, which can not only hinder daily functioning, but can also adversely affect their health.  Prescription sleep aids are one of the treatment options for trouble going into or maintaining sleep. However, long-term use of sleep aids has been linked to adverse outcomes in health.

A new report from NCHS provides the first person-based national data on prescription sleep aid use among noninstitutionalized U.S. adult population.

Percentage of adults aged 20 and over who used prescription sleep aids in the past 30 days, by age: United States, 2005–2010

Key Findings from the Report:

  • About 4% of U.S. adults aged 20 and over used prescription sleep aids in the past month.
  • The percentage of adults using a prescription sleep aid increased with age and education. More adult women (5.0%) used prescription sleep aids than adult men (3.1%).
  • Non-Hispanic white adults were more likely to use sleep aids (4.7%) than non-Hispanic black (2.5%) and Mexican-American (2.0%) adults.
  • Prescription sleep aid use varied by sleep duration and was highest among adults who sleep less than 5 hours (6.0%) or sleep 9 or more hours (5.3%).
  • One in six adults with a diagnosed sleep disorder and one in eight adults with trouble sleeping reported using sleep aids.

Male Newborn Circumcision on a Three Decade Decline

August 22, 2013

NCHS has released a new report on estimates of male newborn circumcisions performed during the birth hospitalization. Using data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS), annual rates of newborn circumcision are presented for 1979–2010.

Key Findings From the Report:

  • Across the 32-year period from 1979 through 2010, the national rate of newborn circumcision declined 10% overall, from 64.5% to 58.3%.
  • During this time, the overall percentage of newborns circumcised during their birth hospitalization was highest in 1981 at 64.9%, and lowest in 2007 at 55.4%.
  • In the Western states, the rate dropped to 40.2 percent in 2010 from 63.9 percent in 1979.  Rates in the Northeast were flat overall. In the Midwest, they mirrored trends in the national rate. In the South, they generally increased from 1979 until 1998 and then declined.


August 22, 2013

Circumcision is an important decision for parents of male newborns.  The choice is simple for some families because they follow their cultural or religious beliefs.  However, for other families this decision may be so clear.

Documented research has shown that male circumcision can reduce a males risk of contracting HIV and lowers the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases.

As a statistical agency, NCHS does not have a view on that particular subject but we do track male infant circumcision through our National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS).

NHDS reported that 65% of newborns were circumcised in 1999, and the overall proportion of newborns circumcised was stable from 1979 through 1999. In 2007, the NHDS found that 55% of male infants were circumcised.

For more information on male circumcision:

US Infertility Rates Drop Slightly

August 16, 2013

NCHS has released a new report that presents nationally representative estimates and trends for infertility and impaired fecundity—two measures of fertility problems—among women aged 15–44 in the United States. Data are also presented on a measure of infertility among men aged 15–44.

Infertility is defined as a lack of pregnancy in the 12 months prior to survey, despite having had unprotected sexual intercourse in each of those months with the same husband or partner. Impaired fecundity is defined as physical difficulty in either getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to live birth.

NCHS data are used to monitor the prevalence and correlates of infertility and to evaluate the use, efficacy, and safety of infertility services and treatments.

Key Findings from the Report: 

  • The percentage of married women aged 15–44 who were infertile fell from 8.5% in 1982 (2.4 million women) to 6.0% (1.5 million) in 2006–2010.
  • Impaired fecundity (trouble getting pregnant) among married women aged 15–44 increased from 11% in 1982 to 15% in 2002, but decreased to 12% in 2006–2010. Among all women, 11% had impaired fecundity in 2006–2010.
  • Both infertility and impaired fecundity remain closely associated with age for nulliparous (childless) women. Among married, childless women aged 35–44, the percentage infertile declined from 44% in 1982 to 27% in 2006–2010, reflecting greater delays in childbearing over this period.
  • Among married women in 2006–2010, non-Hispanic black women were more likely to be infertile than non-Hispanic white women.
  • Some form of infertility (either subfertility or nonsurgical sterility) was reported by 9.4% of men aged 15–44 and 12% of men aged 25–44 in 2006–2010, similar to levels seen in 2002.