Births: Preliminary Data for 2013

May 29, 2014

babyNCHS has released a new report that presents preliminary data for 2013 on births in the United States.  U.S. data on births are shown by age, live-birth order, race, and Hispanic origin of mother. Data on marital status, cesarean delivery, preterm births, and low birthweight are also presented.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • The 2013 preliminary number of births for the United States was 3,957,577, slightly more births (4,736) than in 2012 (3,952,841).  From 2007 through 2010, the number of births declined steadily, then the pace of decline slowed from 2010 to 2012.
  • The number of births rose less than 1% for non-Hispanic white and 1% for non- Hispanic black women between 2012 and 2013, and was essentially unchanged for Hispanic and American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) women. Births to Asian or Pacific Islander (API) women declined 2% in 2013.
  • The 2013 preliminary general fertility rate (GFR) for the United States reached another record low, 62.9 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44, down slightly (less than 1%) from 2012 (63.0).  The fertility rate has declined steadily since 2007, but the pace of decline has slowed from 2010 to 2013.
  • The 2013 preliminary birth rate for teenagers was 26.6 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19, down 10% from 2012 (29.4) and another historic low for the nation.  Following a brief upturn in 2006 and 2007, the rate has declined 36% since 2007 (41.5) and 57% overall from 1991 (61.8), the most recent peak.



Cardiorespiratory Fitness Levels Among U.S. Youth Aged 12–15 Years: United States, 1999–2004 and 2012

May 28, 2014

Physical fitness has been defined as “a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity.”  Cardiorespiratory fitness is one component of physical fitness and is defined as the “ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply fuel during sustained physical activity and to eliminate fatigue products after supplying fuel.” Cardiorespiratory fitness is most often measured by maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), which is the maximum capacity of the body to transport and use oxygen during physical activity.

A new NCHS report presents the most recent national data on the percentage of youth who had adequate levels of cardiorespiratory fitness. Adequate levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are based on standards that are age- and sex-specific and established based on how fit children need to be for good health.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2012, about 42% of U.S. youth aged 12–15 years had adequate levels of cardiorespiratory fitness.
  • The percentage of youth who had adequate levels of cardiorespiratory fitness did not differ by race and Hispanic origin, or by family income-to-poverty ratio.
  • The percentage of youth who had adequate levels of cardiorespiratory fitness decreased as weight status increased.
  • The percentage of youth aged 12–15 who had adequate levels of cardiorespiratory fitness decreased from 52.4% in 1999–2000 to 42.2% in 2012.


Older Women, First Births

May 27, 2014

A recent NCHS Data Brief, drawing on data collected through the National Vital Statistics System, has received nationwide media attention for its findings on first-time births to older mothers. Data Brief No. 152, “First Births to Older Women Continue to Rise,” found significant increases over the past four decades in the average age of women at the birth of their first child. The study’s authors, T. J. Mathews and Dr. Brady Hamilton, ascribed this increase in part to the shift in first births to women 35 years and older.

The authors note that delayed childbearing affects the size, composition and future growth of the population of the United States. First time older mothers are generally better educated and more likely to have more resources (including higher incomes) than those at the youngest reproductive ages. However, increased health risks to older mothers–especially those 40 years and older–and their infants are well documented.

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QuickStats: Percentage of Infants Born Late Preterm by Mother’s State of Residence

May 27, 2014

In 2012, 8.1% of births in the United States were late preterm births. The percentage of births that were late preterm varied by state and ranged from 6.2% in Vermont to 12.0% in Mississippi.

Trends in Electronic Health Record System Use Among Office-based Physicians: United States, 2007–2012

May 20, 2014

NCHS has a new report that presents trends in the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by office-based physicians during 2007–2012.  Rates of adoption are compared by selected physician and practice characteristics.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2012, 71.8% of office-based physicians reported using any type of EHR system, up from 34.8% in 2007.
  • In 2012, 39.6% of physicians had an EHR system with features meeting the criteria of a basic system, up from 11.8% in 2007; 23.5% of office-based physicians had an EHR system with features meeting the criteria of a fully functional system in 2012, up from 3.8% in 2007.
  • In 2007, a wide gap existed in use of any type of EHR system between physicians in practices with 11 or more physicians (74.3%) compared with physicians in smaller practices (20.6% among solo practitioners); the gap, however, narrowed during 2007–2012.
  • In 2007, no significant gap was observed in adoption of a fully functional system between primary care (4.7%) and nonprimary care physicians (2.8%); the gap, however, widened over time (27.9% compared with 19.4% in 2012).
  • The difference in adoption of a fully functional system between physicians in practices with 11 or more physicians compared with solo practitioners was 10.4 percentage points in 2007; the gap widened to 30.6 percentage points in 2012.


QuickStats: Median Emergency Department Wait and Treatment Times by Triage Level — National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, United States, 2010–2011

May 19, 2014

The median wait time to be treated in the Emergency Department was about 30 minutes, and the median treatment time was slightly more than 90 minutes in 2010–2011. At visits in which patients were triaged, the shortest median wait time was 12 minutes for patients who had an immediate need to be seen. Treatment times were longer for patients who were triaged as immediate, emergent, and urgent compared with those who were triaged as semiurgent or nonurgent.


May 15, 2014

The state of Kansas scores lower than the nation overall in cesarean deliveries, preterm births, and low birthweight. The state also has a lower mortality rate in homicides and drug poisoning deaths.

However, among the 10 leading causes of death in the United States, Kansas has mortality rates that are higher than the U.S. rates for the following causes: chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, accidents, kidney disease, influenza/pneumonia, and suicide.

Health, United States, 2013 explores the Nation’s health status; special feature on use of prescription drugs

May 14, 2014

Picture1The National Center for Health Statistics announces the release of Health, United States, 2013.

Health, United States is the annual report on the health status of the Nation, submitted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the President and Congress. The 2013 report includes a rich compilation of health data through 2012 from a number of sources within the federal government and in the private sector.

Each year the report focuses on a special topic of importance to current discussions in public health. This year’s special feature is on Prescription Drugs in the United States. Among the highlights:

  • In 2007-2010, almost one-half of the U.S. population took at least one prescription drug in the preceding month and 1 in 10 reported taking five or more drugs.
  • Prescription drug use in 2007-2010 increased with age, from 1 in 4 children to 9 in 10 persons aged 65 and over.
  • In 2007-2010, cardiovascular agents (used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney disease) and cholesterol lowering drugs were two of the most commonly used classes of prescription drugs among adults.
  • In 2012, adults aged 18-64 who were uninsured for all or part of the past year were more than four times as likely to report not getting needed prescription drugs due to cost as adults who were insured for the whole year.
  • Drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics among those aged 15 and over more than tripled in the past decade, from 1.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 1999-2000 to 6.6 in 2009-2010.
  • In 2010, 53.7% of physician offices, 50.3% of hospital outpatient departments, 58.1% of hospital emergency departments and 19.7% of residential care facilities had a computerized prescription ordering system.

Detailed tables and charts display health statistics trends over time on birth and death rates, infant mortality, life expectancy, morbidity and health status, risk factors, use of ambulatory and inpatient care, health personnel and facilities, financing of health care, health insurance and managed care, and other health topics. Just a few of the highlights from the 2013 report include:

  • Between 2002 and 2012, the birth rate among teenagers aged 15-19 fell 31%, from 42.6 to 29.4 live births per 1,000 females, reaching a record low.
  • In 2009-2012 nearly one-half of adults aged 20 and over with hypertension continued to have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • In 2011, there were 126 million visits to hospital outpatient departments and 136 million visits to hospital emergency departments.
  • Between 2002 and 2012, among adults aged 18-64, the percentage who reported not receiving or delaying seeking needed medical care due to cost in the past 12 months increased from 9.7% to 13.3%.
  • In 2011, there were 26.1 physicians in patient care per 10,000 population in the United States. The number of patient care physicians per 100,000 population ranged from 17.7 in Idaho to 41.1 in Massachusetts and 68.3 in the District of Columbia.

A variety of resources can be found on the Health, United States webpage, including the full report featuring a chartbook and trend tables. A special abridged edition, Health, United States, 2013: In Brief is also available as a companion to the full report. Trend tables are available as downloadable spreadsheet files for data manipulation or graphical analysis. Data trends may be more complete in spreadsheet files than in pdf files, as data are updated throughout the year. The Preface describes changes and additions to the current report. Major findings are presented in the Highlights. At a Glance Table is a data summary, useful when you need to find the latest data quickly. The Appendix includes data sources and definitions and methods. The Index  is a topical index with cross references to such topics as child and adolescent health, elderly population, specific race and ethnic groups, State data, and women’s health.

QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged 18–64 Years Who Have Seen a Dentist Within the Past Year

May 13, 2014

In 2012, the percentage of adults with a dental visit within the past year increased with increasing income. Approximately 44% of adults with family income less than 200% of the poverty threshold had a dental visit in the past year, increasing to 60% of those with family income from 200% to 400% and 79% for those with family income of 400% or more of the poverty threshold. The percentage of women with a dental visit in the past year was higher than men within each income group.


First Births to Older Women Continue to Rise

May 9, 2014

The average age of women at first birth has risen over the past 4 decades.  This increase is in part a reflection of the shift in first births to women 35 years and older.  Delayed childbearing affects the size, composition, and future growth of the population in the United States.  Increased health risks to older mothers, especially those 40 years and older, and their infants are well documented, first time older mothers are generally better educated and more likely to have more resources including higher incomes than those at the youngest reproductive ages.

A new report from NCHS explores trends in first births to women aged 35–39 and 40–44 years from 1970 to 2012, and by race and Hispanic origin from 1990 to 2012 (the most recent year for which comparable data are available). Trends in first births for older women by state are examined for the recent period, 2000 to 2012.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • The first birth rate for women aged 35–39 increased from 1970 to 2006, decreased from 2006 to 2010, and increased again in both 2011 and 2012.
  • The first birth rate for women aged 40–44 was steady in the 1970s and started increasing in the 1980s. The rate more than doubled from 1990 to 2012.
  • For women aged 35–39 and 40–44 all race and Hispanic origin groups had increasing first birth rates from 1990 to 2012.
  • Since 2000, 46 states and DC had an increase in the first birth rate for women aged 35–39. For women aged 40–44, rates increased in 31 states and DC.