QuickStats: Percentage of Suicide Deaths by Mechanism and Age Group — United States, 2011

September 29, 2014

In 2011, firearm was the leading mechanism for suicide deaths for all age groups, ranging from 44% of suicides among persons aged 5–24 years to 72% of suicides among persons aged 65 years or older. Suffocation was the second leading mechanism in the two younger age groups (41% of suicides among persons aged 5–24 years and 32% of suicides among persons aged 25–44 years). In contrast, poisoning was the second leading mechanism (22%) among adults aged 45–64 years and those aged 65 years or older (8%).



September 29, 2014

The state of Massachusetts scores lower than the nation overall in percent of births to unmarried mothers, cesarean delivery rate, preterm birth rate, teen birth rate and birthweight rate. The state also has a lower mortality rate in homicide, firearm and drug poisoning deaths.

However, among the 10 leading causes of death in the United States, Massachusetts has mortality rates that are higher than the U.S. rates for the following causes: kidney disease and influenza/pneumonia.

International Comparisons of Infant Mortality and Related Factors: United States and Europe, 2010

September 24, 2014

A new NCHS report investigates the reasons for the United States’ high infant mortality rate when compared with European countries. Specifically, the report measures the impact on infant mortality differences of two major factors: the percentage of preterm births and gestational age-specific infant mortality rates.

In 2010, the U.S. infant mortality rate was 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, and the United States ranked 26th in infant mortality among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. After excluding births at less than 24 weeks of gestation to ensure international comparability, the U.S. infant mortality rate was 4.2, still higher than for most European countries and about twice the rates for Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. U.S. infant mortality rates for very preterm infants (24–31 weeks of gestation) compared favorably with most European rates. However, the U.S. mortality rate for infants at 32–36 weeks was second-highest, and the rate for infants at 37 weeks of gestation or more was highest, among the countries studied.

About 39% of the United States’ higher infant mortality rate when compared with that of Sweden was due to a higher percentage of preterm births, while 47% was due to a higher infant mortality rate at 37 weeks of gestation or more. If the United States could reduce these two factors to Sweden’s levels, the U.S. infant mortality rate would fall by 43%, with nearly 7,300 infant deaths averted annually.

QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Death Rates for Heart Disease and Cancer by Sex — United States, 1980–2011

September 22, 2014

During 1980–2011, age-adjusted death rates for heart disease in males and females decreased steadily. The rate decreased 59.5% for males and 56.8% for females. In contrast, the rate from cancer first increased 3.4% for males and 5.3% for females during 1980–1990 and then decreased 27.2% for males and 18.0% for females by 2011. For females, the rates for cancer (147.4 per 100,000 population) surpassed the rates for heart disease (146.6) in 2009. The death rate for heart disease in males remained slightly higher (218.1) than the death rate for cancer (204.0) in 2011.


QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Who Used Selected Complementary Health Approaches in the Preceding 12 Months, by Metropolitan Status of Residence — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2012

September 18, 2014

During 2012, the percentages of U.S. adults aged 18 years or older who used nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements, yoga, massage, meditation, and special diets were higher in metropolitan areas than in nonmetropolitan areas. A greater proportion of adults in nonmetropolitan areas used chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (9.9%) compared with those in metropolitan areas (7.9%). In both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, dietary supplements had the highest percentage of use (17.9% in metropolitan; 14.2% in nonmetropolitan), and special diets had the lowest percentage of use (3.1% in metropolitan; 1.9% in nonmetropolitan).


Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January–March 2014 National Health Interview Survey

September 16, 2014

NCHS has released updates estimates for 15 selected health measures based on data from the January–March 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and presents estimates from 1997 through 2013 for comparison.

The 15 measure included in the report are lack of health insurance coverage and type of coverage, having a usual place to go for medical care, obtaining needed medical care, receipt of influenza vaccination, receipt of pneumococcal vaccination, obesity, leisure-time physical activity, current cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, general health status, personal care needs, serious psychological distress, diagnosed diabetes, and asthma episodes and current asthma.

The Early Release measures are being published prior to final data editing and final weighting to provide access to the most recent information from NHIS. The estimates will be updated as each new quarter of NHIS data becomes available.

Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Opioid Analgesics: United States, 1999–2011

September 16, 2014

Poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Drugs—both illicit and pharmaceutical—are the major cause of poisoning deaths, accounting for 90% of poisoning deaths in 2011.  Misuse or abuse of prescription drugs, including opioid-analgesic pain relievers, is responsible for much of the recent increase in drug-poisoning deaths.

A new report highlights trends in drug-poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics (referred to as opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths) and updates previous Data Briefs on this topic.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • The age-adjusted rate for opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths nearly quadrupled from 1.4 per 100,000 in 1999 to 5.4 per 100,000 in 2011.
  • Although the opioid-analgesic poisoning death rates increased each year from 1999 through 2011, the rate of increase has slowed since 2006.
  • Natural and semisynthetic opioid analgesics, such as hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone, were involved in 11,693 drug-poisoning deaths in 2011, up from 2,749 deaths in 1999.
  • Benzodiazepines were involved in 31% of the opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths in 2011, up from 13% of the opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths in 1999.
  • During the past decade, adults aged 55–64 and non-Hispanic white persons experienced the greatest increase in the rates of opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths.