This week, CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released Health, United States, 2014, the 38th annual report from the HHS Secretary to the President and Congress on the health of the nation.
This year’s report includes a special feature profiling the health of people 55-64 years old, the heart of the so-called “Baby Boomer” generation, who have longer life expectancy than in the past, but who are at growing risk of developing chronic conditions. Most will be covered by Medicare within 10 years, which presents challenges to the country’s health care system.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SPECIAL FEATURE:
- Among 55-64 year olds in 2009-2012, the prevalence of diabetes was close to 19%, the prevalence of obesity was about 40% and the prevalence of hypertension was just over 51%, unchanged from a decade earlier.
- Mortality rates for all-cause death rates declined among 55-64 year olds between 2003 and 2013; cancer death rates were higher than heart disease death rates in this group throughout the decade.
- In 2012–2013, just over 18% of adults aged 55–64 were current cigarette smokers, which is 8% lower than the percentage in 2002–2003 (19.7%). Those living below 100% of poverty were three times as likely to be current smokers as those at 400% or more of poverty (32.4% vs 11.2%).
- Close to half of 55-64 year olds reported receiving an annual influenza vaccination in 2013, up from 40% in 2003, while use of pneumococcal vaccinations for high risk group members remained at similar levels (about one out of three).
- In 2009–2012, nearly half (45%) of adults aged 55-64 took a prescription cardiovascular drug, nearly one-third (31.8%) took a cholesterol-lowering drug and 16% used prescription gastric reflux medications in the past month. Fifteen percent used a prescription analgesic, 12.9% used an anti-diabetic agent and 14.4% used a prescription antidepressant.