April 29, 2014

In the United States, Illinois ranks 13th in deaths from kidney disease.  The state also has a higher homicide and infant mortality rate than the rest of the country.

However, among the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S., Illinois has mortality rates that are lower than the U.S. rate for the following causes: chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and suicide.

Use of Medication Prescribed for Emotional or Behavioral Difficulties Among Children Aged 6–17 Years in the United States, 2011–2012

April 29, 2014

Mental health problems are common chronic conditions in children.  Medication is often prescribed to treat the symptoms of these conditions. Few population-based studies have examined the use of prescription medication to treat mental health problems among younger as well as older school-aged children.

A new NCHS report describes the sociodemographic characteristics of children aged 6–17 years prescribed medication or taking medication during the past 6 months for emotional or behavioral difficulties, and describes parental reports of the perceived benefit of this medication.

  • Seven and one-half percent of children aged 6–17 years used prescribed medication during the past 6 months for emotional or behavioral difficulties.
  • A higher percentage of children insured by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program used prescribed medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties than children with private health insurance or no health insurance.
  • A higher percentage of children in families having income below 100% of the poverty level used prescribed medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties than children in families at 100% to less than 200% of the poverty level.
  • More than one-half of children who used prescribed medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties had a parent report that this medication helped the child “a lot.”


QuickStats: Percentage of Currently Employed Adults Who Were Current Smokers by Selected Industries

April 29, 2014

During 2008–2012, 29.9% of adults 18 years or older currently employed in construction and 28.2% of those currently employed in mining were current smokers. Adults currently employed in construction were more likely than adults currently employed in manufacturing (23.3%), transportation/warehousing/utilities (23.2%), trade (22.0%), agriculture/forestry/fishing (18.6%), services (16.9%), or health care/social assistance (16.0%) to be current smokers.

Rural and Urban Hospitals’ Role in Providing Inpatient Care

April 23, 2014

In 2010, 17% of the U.S. population lived in rural (nonmetropolitan) areas. Disparities in health care access between rural and urban areas have been documented. Rural hospitals not only provide inpatient care, but also emergency department, outpatient department, long-term care, and health care coordination . Rural hospitals may have difficulty remaining financially viable. Medicare payment policies help keep the low-volume hospitals solvent so that vulnerable populations have access to health care without traveling to urban areas.

A new NCHS report provides national data on patients served, and inpatient care provided, by rural hospitals in the health care system in 2010.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2010, 12% of the 35 million U.S. hospitalizations were in rural hospitals.
  • A higher percentage of inpatients in rural hospitals were aged 65 and over (51%) compared with inpatients in urban hospitals (37%).
  • The average number of diagnoses for rural and urban inpatients was similar, as was the average length of stay.
  • Sixty-four percent of rural hospital inpatients, compared with 38% of urban hospital inpatients, had no procedures performed while in the hospital.
  • Following their hospitalization, a higher percentage of rural inpatients (7%) than urban inpatients (3%) were transferred to other short-term hospitals, and a higher percentage of rural (14%) than urban (11%) inpatients were discharged to long-term care institutions.

QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged 25 or Older Who Were Current Smokers or Current Regular Drinkers by Education Level

April 21, 2014

Among adults aged 25 or older in 2012, 26.5% of those who did not graduate from high school and 26.4% who had a high school diploma or GED were current smokers, compared with 19.7% who had attended some college and 7.9% with a college degree. In contrast, 64.2% of college graduates were current regular drinkers, compared with 52.3% of adults with some college, 47.3% of high school graduates or GED recipients, and 35.3% of adults who did not finish high school.


April 21, 2014


In the U.S., Idaho ranks 48th in the percentage of births to unmarried mothers (27.4%) and 47th in cesarean delivery rates (24.9).  The state’s teen birth rate is lower than the overall U.S. rate (28.3 vs. 29.4).  Idaho’s low birthweight rate ranks 44th in the country.

However, among the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S., Idaho has mortality rates that are higher than the U.S. rate for the following causes: chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and suicide.




Regional Variation in Use of Complementary Health Approaches by U.S. Adults

April 17, 2014

Complementary health approaches are defined as “a group of diverse medical and health care interventions, practices, products, or disciplines that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.”  They range from practitioner-based approaches, such as chiropractic manipulation and massage therapy, to predominantly self-care approaches, such as nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements, meditation, and yoga. A new report presents estimates of the four most commonly used complementary health approaches among adults aged 18 and over in nine geographic regions, using data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey adult alternative medicine supplement.

  • Use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements (17.9%) was greater than any other complementary health approach used by U.S. adults in 2012.
  • The use of practitioner-based chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation was nearly twice as high in the West North Central region as in the United States overall.
  • Use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements was highest in the Mountain, Pacific, and West North Central regions.
  • Use of yoga with deep breathing or meditation was approximately 40% higher in the Pacific and Mountain regions than in the United States overall.



April 17, 2014

Iowa has mortality rates that are lower than the United States rate in firearm deaths, homicide and drug poisoning deaths.  The state also has the 5th lowest mortality rate for kidney disease and ranks 11th  in percent of births to unmarried mothers.

However, Iowa has mortality rates that are higher than the U.S. for chronic lower respiratory disease and Alzheimer’s disease.  The state is also tied with the U.S. rate in suicides.

STATCAST: January – March 2014

April 15, 2014

Welcome to this edition of Statcast, a quarterly presentation of data highlights from the National Center for Health Statistics.  This edition covers the period January through March, 2014.
In 2012, 53,635 babies were born outside of a hospital in the U.S., including over 35,000 births that occurred in the home.  Just over 1 percent of all births in 2012 occur outside a hospital, compared to 44% in 1940.

Today, health care in America continues to undergo major changes towards modernization.  In 2013, 78% of office-based physicians used some type of electronic health record system in their practice –  up from 18% in 2001.

NCHS continues to track changes in the prevalence of diseases and chronic conditions .  New data from the National Health Interview Survey show that asthma prevalence in the U.S. dropped sharply during the first nine months of 2013.

A January QuickStat authored by statistician Jiaquan Xu documented that over the past decade, there were an average of 430 deaths each year in the U.S. from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

NCHS also published a study in Pediatrics which showed that coffee now accounts for nearly 25% of all caffeine intake among American youth, more than twice as much as a decade earlier.  And soda, which accounted for 62% of all caffeine intake in 2000, now accounts for 38% of caffeine intake.

Fact or Fiction.  Is the obesity epidemic in the U.S. leveling off?.   Answer:  IT DEPENDS ON THE GROUP.  For most age, gender and race/ethnic groups, obesity has not changed significantly over the past decade.   However, obesity has declined slightly over the last decade for children ages 2 to 5 – but has increased sharply for older women age 60 and up.

Unintentional Drowning Deaths in the United States, 1999–2010

April 15, 2014

Drowning is the third leading cause of death from unintentional injury worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths according to 2004 data from the World Health Organization.  Previous reports indicated that, although the death rate from unintentional drowning for persons aged 0–19 years decreased in the United States, drowning had become the major cause of death from unintentional injury among children aged 1–4 years.  To facilitate injury prevention programs, A new NCHS report analyzed mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System from 1999 through 2010 to provide more detailed information on characteristics and patterns of unintentional drowning deaths, including recent trends and drowning by day of week, age group, sex, and place of incident.


Key Findings from the Report:

  • From 1999 through 2010, a total of 46,419 deaths from unintentional drowning (including boating) occurred in the United States, an average of 3,868 deaths per year.
  • Drowning death rates decreased over time for all age groups except for adults aged 45–84.
  • The average daily number of deaths from unintentional drowning on a weekend day was 48% higher than that on a weekday (13.8 versus 9.3 deaths).
  • Since 2005, unintentional drowning has replaced motor vehicle traffic incidents as the leading cause of death from unintentional injury for boys aged 1–4 years.
  • Drowning occurred most often in a bath tub for persons under 1 year of age and for adults aged 85 and over, in a swimming pool for children aged 1–4 years, and in natural water for persons aged 5–84 years.