STATCAST: January – March 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.

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