Emergency Department Visits for Motor Vehicle Traffic Injuries: United States, 2010–2011

January 30, 2015

In spite of improvements in motor vehicle safety in recent years, motor vehicle crashes remain a major source of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries also result in substantial economic and societal costs related to medical care and lost productivity.

A new NCHS report describes the rates and characteristics of emergency department (ED) visits for motor vehicle traffic injuries during 2010–2011 based on nationally representative data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2010–2011, the emergency department (ED) visit rate for motor vehicle traffic injuries was highest among persons aged 16–24 years. The rates declined with age after 16–24, with rates for those aged 0–15 similar to those 65 and over.
  • The overall ED visit rate for motor vehicle traffic injuries was higher among non-Hispanic black persons compared with non-Hispanic white and Hispanic persons.
  • Imaging services were ordered or provided at 70.2% of ED visits for motor vehicle traffic injuries, which was higher than for other injury-related ED visits (55.9%).
  • About one-half of ED visits for motor vehicle traffic injuries had a primary diagnosis of sprains and strains of the neck and back, contusion with intact skin surface, or spinal disorders.

Cervical Health Awareness Month

January 30, 2015

This month is Cervical Health Awareness Month.  Cervical cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death among U.S. women.  From 1999-2013, there were 60,378 deaths from cervical cancer with 4,217 deaths in 2013.  The age-adjusted death rate per 100,000 for U.S. women dropped from 2.8 in 1999 to 2.3 in 2013.

The cervical death rate for non-Hispanic black females was nearly double the rate for non-Hispanic white females and  higher than the rate for Hispanic females.

From 1999 to 2013, cervical cancer death rates have decreased 31% for Hispanic females, 26% for non-Hispanic black females, and 16% for non-Hispanic white females.

In 2010, there were 29.4 million physician office visits during which Pap tests were ordered or provided.

More information on cervical cancer can be found below:



Strategies Used by Adults to Reduce Their Prescription Drug Costs: United States, 2013

January 29, 2015

Approximately one-fifth (18%) of the $263 billion spent on retail prescription drugs in the United States in 2012 was paid out of pocket. Some adults offset the cost of prescription drugs by reducing the dosage and frequency of the recommended pharmacotherapy. Other cost-saving strategies include asking providers for less-expensive medications or purchasing medications abroad.

A new NCHS report updates previously reported estimates for strategies used by U.S. adults aged 18 and over to reduce their prescription drug costs, using data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • To save money, almost 8% of U.S. adults (7.8%) did not take their medication as prescribed, 15.1% asked a doctor for a lower-cost medication, 1.6% bought prescription drugs from another country, and 4.2% used alternative therapies.
  • Adults aged 18–64 (8.5%) were nearly twice as likely as adults aged 65 and over (4.4%) to have not taken their medication as prescribed to save money.
  • Among adults aged 18–64, uninsured adults (14.0%) were more likely than those with Medicaid (10.4%) or private coverage (6.1%) to have not taken their medication as prescribed to save money.
  • The poorest adults—those with incomes below 139% of the federal poverty level—were the most likely to not take medication as prescribed to save money.


Prevalence of Reduced Muscle Strength in Older U.S. Adults: United States, 2011–2012

January 28, 2015

Muscle weakness is linked to impaired mobility and mortality in older persons. The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Sarcopenia Project recently developed sex-specific criteria to diagnose different degrees of muscle strength (i.e., weak, intermediate, and normal) in older adults based on maximum hand grip strength. These thresholds are related to the level of muscle weakness that is associated with slow gait speed, an important mobility impairment.

A new NCHS report uses the FNIH criteria to provide national estimates of muscle strength in older adults in the United States in 2011–2012.


Key Findings from the Report:

  • Five percent of adults aged 60 and over had weak muscle strength. Thirteen percent had intermediate muscle strength, while 82% had normal muscle strength.
  • The prevalence of reduced (weak and intermediate) muscle strength increased with age, while the prevalence of normal strength decreased with age.
  • Muscle strength status did not differ by sex, except among persons aged 80 and over, where women had a higher prevalence of weak muscle strength than men.
  • Non-Hispanic Asian and Hispanic persons had a higher prevalence of reduced muscle strength than non-Hispanic white persons.
  • Difficulty with rising from a chair increased as strength status decreased.



January 23, 2015

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

Here is a list of the 15 leading causes of death in Nebraska in 2012 with ICD 10 codes:

1 Malignant neoplasms (C00-C97)
2 Diseases of heart (I00-I09,I11,I13,I20-I51)
3 Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)
4 Accidents (unintentional injuries) (V01-X59,Y85-Y86)
5 Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69)
6 Alzheimer’s disease (G30)
7 Diabetes mellitus (E10-E14)
8 Influenza and pneumonia (J09-J18)
9 Intentional self-harm (suicide) (U03,X60-X84,Y87.0)
10 Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (I10,I12,I15)
11 Parkinson’s disease (G20-G21)
12 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (N00-N07,N17-N19,N25-N27)
13 Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (K70,K73-K74)
14 Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids (J69)
15 Septicemia (A40-A41)


QuickStats: Rates of Deaths from Drug Poisoning and Drug Poisoning Involving Opioid Analgesics — United States, 1999–2013

January 21, 2015

In 2013, a total of 43,982 deaths in the United States were attributed to drug poisoning, including 16,235 deaths (37%) involving opioid analgesics.

From 1999 to 2013, the drug poisoning death rate more than doubled from 6.1 to 13.8 per 100,000 population, and the rate for drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics nearly quadrupled from 1.4 to 5.1 per 100,000. For both drug poisoning and drug poisoning involving opioid analgesics, the death rate increased at a faster pace from 1999 to 2006 than from 2006 to 2013.

Births: Final Data for 2013

January 15, 2015

A new NCHS report presents 2013 data on U.S. births according to a wide variety of characteristics. Data are presented for maternal age, live-birth order, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, attendant at birth, method of delivery, period of gestation, birthweight, and plurality. Birth and fertility rates are presented by age, live-birth order, race and Hispanic origin, and marital status. Selected data by mother’s state of residence and birth rates by age and race of father also are shown. Trends in fertility patterns and maternal and infant characteristics are described and interpreted.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • A total of 3,932,181 births were registered in the United States in 2013, down less than 1% from 2012.
  • The general fertility rate declined to 62.5 per 1,000 women aged 15–44.
  • The teen birth rate fell 10%, to 26.5 per 1,000 women aged 15–19.
  • Birth rates declined for women in their 20s and increased for most age groups of women aged 30 and over.
  • The total fertility rate (estimated number of births over a woman’s lifetime) declined 1% to 1,857.5 per 1,000 women.
  • Measures of unmarried childbearing were down in 2013 from 2012.
  • The cesarean delivery rate declined to 32.7%.
  • The preterm birth rate declined for the seventh straight year to 11.39%, but the low birthweight rate was essentially unchanged at 8.02%.
  • The twin birth rate rose 2% to 33.7 per 1,000 births; the triplet and higher-order multiple birth rate dropped 4% to 119.5 per 100,000 total births.

Cancer Deaths in the U.S.

January 14, 2015

The death of ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott has generated interest in cancer deaths in the U.S.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S.

The number of cancer deaths are available from the multiple cause of death option on the CDC WONDER database using the C00-C97 ICD  Code, “Malignant Neoplasms.”

Here are our latest national numbers on cancer deaths in the U.S. from 1999-2012:

Year          Deaths

1999       549,838

2000       553,091

2001       553,768

2002       557,271

2003       556,902

2004       553,888

2005       559,312

2006       559,888

2007       562,875

2008       565,469

2009       567,628

2010       574,743

2011       576,691

2012       582,623

Total      7,873,987

For more information:




Hospitalizations for Patients Aged 85 and Over in the United States, 2000–2010

January 14, 2015

From 2000 through 2010, the number of adults aged 85 and over in the United States rose 31%, from 4.2 million to 5.5 million, and in 2010, this age group represented almost 14% of the population aged 65 and over. It is estimated that by 2050, more than 21% of adults over age 65 will be aged 85 and over. Given this increase, adults aged 85 and over are likely to account for an increasing share of hospital utilization and costs in the coming years.

An NCHS report describes hospitalizations for adults aged 85 and over with comparisons to adults aged 65–74 and 75–84.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2010, adults aged 85 and over accounted for only 2% of the U.S. population but 9% of hospital discharges.
  • From 2000 through 2010, the rate of hospitalizations for adults aged 85 and over declined from 605 to 553 hospitalizations per 1,000 population, a 9% decrease.
  • The rate of fractures and other injuries was higher for adults aged 85 and over (51 per 1,000 population) than for adults aged 65–74 (9 per 1,000 population) and 75–84 (23 per 1,000 population).
  • Adults aged 85 and over were less likely than those aged 65–74 and 75–84 to be discharged home and more likely to die in the hospital.



January 8, 2015

The state of Montana scores lower than the nation overall in percent in births to unmarried mothers, cesarean deliveries, preterm births, teen births and low birthweight.  The treasure state also has a lower mortality rate in homicide and drug poisoning deaths.

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