Hepatitis Awareness Month

May 12, 2015

Immunization appears to have had a dramatic impact on controlling some forms of Hepatitis in the United States over the past two decades.  In 1990, there were 31,441 new cases of Hepatitis A and 21,102 new cases of Hepatitis B reported in the U.S.   Two decades later, the number of new cases has dropped dramatically:  1,562 new cases of Hepatitis A were reported in 2012 along with 2,895 new cases of Hepatitis B.

In 2010, NCHS released data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which showed that among younger Americans between ages 6 and 29, exposure to the Hepatitis A virus (HAV) had increased steadily between 1988-94 and 2003-06, while a decline occurred among adults age 40 and over during the same period.

Prevalence of Heptatitis B (HBV) infection, meanwhile, declined steadily over the same period of time for people of all age groups (It is important to note that there is a distinction between exposure to HAV or HBV in a nationally representative sample survey like NHANES and the actual number of diagnosed cases reported to CDC).

Deaths from viral hepatitis, meanwhile, have been inching up.   In 2013, 8,157 Americans died from all forms of viral hepatitis, up significantly from 4,853 deaths in 1999.

For more information on Hepatitis vaccination, visit the CDC web site at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/default.htm.

Food Allergy Action Month

May 11, 2015

May is Food Allergy Action Month.  Food allergy is a potentially serious immune response to eating specific foods or food additives. Eight types of food account for over 90% of allergic reactions in affected individuals: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.  Reactions to these foods by an allergic person can range from a tingling sensation around the mouth and lips and hives to death, depending on the severity of the allergy. The mechanisms by which a person develops an allergy to specific foods are largely unknown.

Food allergy is more prevalent in children than adults, and a majority of affected children will “outgrow food” allergies with age. However, food allergy can sometimes become a lifelong concern.

Among children under 17 years old, the prevalence of food allergies increased from 3.4% in 1997– 1999 to 5.1% in 2009–2011.  Hispanic children had a lower prevalence of food allergy compared with non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black children.

The prevalence of food allergy increased with income level. Among children with family income less than 100% of the poverty level, 4.4% had a food allergy. Food allergy prevalence among children with family income between 100% and 200% of the poverty level was 5%.

From 2004 to 2006, there were approximately 9,500 hospital discharges per year with a diagnosis related to food allergy among children under age 18 years.

For More Information:




Annual Report on the Nation’s Health Spotlights 55-64 Year Age Group

May 8, 2015

huscover2014This 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.


  • 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.

When Are Babies Born: Morning, Noon, or Night? Birth Certificate Data for 2013

May 8, 2015

As the use of medical interventions for childbirth (i.e., induction of labor and cesarean delivery) has increased during the last few decades, an increasing proportion of deliveries occur during regular daytime hours.

Hospital personnel resources and maternal and newborn outcomes can be influenced by the time of day of delivery. Data on the time of day of the birth became available with the 2003 revision of the birth certificate.

A new NCHS report examines 2013 birth certificate data from the National Vital Statistics System to describe the time of day of birth by method of delivery and place of birth for a 41-state and District of Columbia (DC) reporting area that had adopted the 2003 revised birth certificate by January 2013. This reporting area represents 90% of U.S. births.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • The highest percentages of births occurred during the morning and midday hours.
  • Births on Saturday and Sunday were more likely to occur in the late evening and early morning hours than births Monday through Friday.
  • Compared with induced vaginal deliveries and noninduced vaginal deliveries, cesarean deliveries were the least likely to occur during the evening and early morning.
  • Noninduced vaginal births were more likely than cesarean and induced vaginal births to occur in the early morning.
  • Cesarean deliveries with no trial of labor were much more concentrated during the day than were cesarean deliveries with a trial of labor.


Trends in Elevated Triglyceride in Adults: United States, 2001–2012

May 8, 2015

Elevated triglyceride is associated with cardiovascular disease. For adults aged 20 and over with elevated triglyceride, recommendations for therapeutic lifestyle changes include increased physical activity, weight loss, optimal nutrition-related practices, and smoking cessation.

A new NCHS report shows trends in the percentage of U.S. adults aged 20 and over with elevated triglyceride (150 mg/dL or more) are examined using data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2001–2004, 2005–2008, and 2009–2012.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • The percentage of adults aged 20 and over with elevated triglyceride (150 mg/dL or more) declined from 33.3% during 2001–2004 to 25.1% during 2009–2012.
  • Percentages with elevated triglyceride decreased for both men and women—among men, from 37.3% for 2001–2004 to 28.7% for 2009–2012, and among women, from 29.3% for 2001–2004 to 21.5% for 2009–2012.
  • For adults aged 60 and over, declines in elevated triglyceride levels were seen in both men (from 39.9% during 2001–2004 to 24.8% during 2009–2012) and women (from 43.5% during 2001–2004 to 30.9% during 2009–2012).
  • Declines in elevated triglyceride levels were observed in overweight and obese men and women between 2001–2004 and 2009–2012.


Deaths From Unintentional Injury Among Adults Aged 65 and Over: United States, 2000–2013

May 8, 2015

Injury deaths place a large burden on society, and many of these deaths are preventable.

In 2013, unintentional injuries were the eighth leading cause of death among U.S. adults aged 65 and over, resulting in nearly 46,000 deaths.

NCHS has released a report that describes trends in unintentional injury deaths among this age group from 2000 through 2013, highlighting differences by age, race and ethnicity, and urbanization for the five leading causes of unintentional injury death: falls, motor vehicle traffic crashes, suffocation, poisoning, and fire.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2012–2013, 55% of all unintentional injury deaths among adults aged 65 and over were due to falls.
  • From 2000 through 2013, the age-adjusted fall injury death rate among adults aged 65 and over nearly doubled from 29.6 per 100,000 to 56.7 per 100,000.
  • In 2012–2013, the death rate due to suffocation was more than 8 times higher among adults aged 85 and over (26.5 per 100,000) compared with adults aged 65–74 (3.1 per 100,000).
  • Among adults aged 65 and over, the death rate due to fire was more than twice as high for non-Hispanic black adults as for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults.
  • The death rate from motor vehicle traffic crashes among adults aged 65 and over was 1.7 times higher in nonmetropolitan areas compared with metropolitan areas.



May 4, 2015

The state of New York scores lower than the nation overall in births to unmarried mothers, preterm births and teen births.

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

Here is a list of the 15 leading causes of death in New York in 2013 with ICD 10 codes:

1. Diseases of heart (I00-I09,I11,I13,I20-I51)

2. Malignant neoplasms (C00-C97)

3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)

4. Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69)

5. Accidents (unintentional injuries) (V01-X59,Y85-Y86)

6. Influenza and pneumonia (J09-J18)

7. Diabetes mellitus (E10-E14)

8. Alzheimer’s disease (G30)

9. Septicemia (A40-A41)

10. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (N00-N07,N17-N19,N25-N27)

11. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (I10,I12,I15)

12. Intentional self-harm (suicide) (*U03,X60-X84,Y87.0)

13. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (K70,K73-K74)

14. Parkinson’s disease (G20-G21)

15. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids (J69)