Declines in Triplet and Higher-order Multiple Births in the United States, 1998–2014

April 28, 2016

The incidence of triplet and higher-order multiple births rose fourfold during the 1980s and 1990s. This rise was associated with older maternal age and the increased use of fertility-enhancing therapies and was of concern because of the greater risk of adverse outcome of triplet and higher-order births compared with singletons and the added toll of these pregnancies on maternal health.

Since 1998, however, this trend has edged downward.

An NCHS report explores the recent downturn in triplet and higher-order births by maternal demographic factors.


  • The triplet and higher-order birth rate declined 41% from 1998 to 2014, or from about 1 in every 515 births in 1998 to one in every 880 births in 2014.
  • Triplet and higher-order birth rates were down by about 50% or more for women aged 25 and over. Rates were essentially unchanged for women under 25.
  • The largest declines in triplet and higher-order birth rates by race and Hispanic origin for 1998–2014 were for non-Hispanic white women, down 46% compared with a 15% decline for Hispanic women, and essentially no change for non-Hispanic black women.
  • Triplet and higher-order birth rates were down from 1998–2000 to 2012–2014 in 42 states; declines of more than 50% were observed in 7 states.


April 27, 2016

hus15_cover_FINALThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released “Health, United States, 2015”. This is the 39th annual report card on the nation’s health, along with a special feature on racial and ethnic health disparities.

The special feature was inspired by the landmark 1985 Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health (Heckler Report), which documented significant health disparities among racial and ethnic groups.


  • The difference between the highest (non-Hispanic black) and lowest (non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander) infant mortality rates among the five racial and ethnic groups narrowed from 9.41 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1999 to 7.21 in 2013.
  • During 1999–2014 non-Hispanic black mothers experienced the highest percentage of low-risk cesarean deliveries (29.9 percent in 2014) among the five racial and ethnic groups while non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native mothers experienced the lowest (21.5 percent in 2014).
  • Among Hispanic mothers during 1999-2014, Cuban mothers experienced the highest percentage of low-risk cesarean deliveries among the five Hispanic-origin groups (41.4 percent in 2014) while Mexican mothers experienced the lowest (24.1 percent in 2014).
  • In 2011–2014 for children and adolescents aged 2–19 years, Hispanic children and adolescents had the highest prevalence of obesity (21.9 percent) and non-Hispanic Asian children and adolescents had the lowest prevalence (8.6 percent).
  • The difference for women between the highest (non-Hispanic white) and lowest (non-Hispanic Asian) percentages of current cigarette smokers among racial and ethnic groups narrowed from 17.5 percentage points in 1999 to 13.2 in 2014 (percentages are age-adjusted).
  • The difference between the highest and lowest percentage of uninsured adults aged 18-64, narrowed from a difference of 24.9 percentage points in 1999 (Hispanic adults compared with non-Hispanic white adults) to a difference of 19.9 percentage points in the first six months of 2015 (Hispanic adults compared with non-Hispanic Asian adults).
  • In 2014 among adults aged 18-64, Hispanic adults had the highest percentage of those not receiving needed dental care in the past 12 months due to cost (15.7 percent) and non-Hispanic Asian adults had the lowest percentage (6.3 percent).

Daily Water Intake Among U.S. Men and Women, 2009–2012

April 26, 2016

Water is an essential nutrient for life. Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations from 2004 set adequate levels for total water intake from all foods and liquids at 3.7 liters (125 ounces) for men and 2.7 liters (91 ounces) for women.

Consuming inadequate amounts of water increases the risk of dehydration, kidney stones, and poorer cognitive performance. Differences in water intake have been reported by age, race and Hispanic origin, and physical activity.

A new NCHS report provides updated estimates of mean daily total water intake for U.S. men and women aged 20 and over in 2009–2012.


  • Among U.S. adults, men consumed an average of 3.46 liters (117 ounces) of water per day, and women consumed 2.75 liters (93 ounces) per day.
  • Men aged 60 and over consumed less water (2.92 liters) than men aged 20–39 (3.61 liters) and 40–59 (3.63 liters). Similarly, women aged 60 and over consumed less water (2.51 liters) than women aged 20–39 (2.78 liters) and 40–59 (2.9 liters).
  • Non-Hispanic white men and women consumed more water daily than non-Hispanic black and Hispanic men and women.
  • Water intake increased with physical activity level for both men and women.
  • Among men, 30% of total water consumed was plain water (with the remainder from other foods and liquids) compared with 34% for women.

Increase in Suicide in the United States, 1999–2014

April 22, 2016

Suicide is an important public health issue involving psychological, biological, and societal factors. After a period of nearly consistent decline in suicide rates in the United States from 1986 through 1999, suicide rates have increased almost steadily from 1999 through 2014.

While suicide among adolescents and young adults is increasing and among the leading causes of death for those demographic groups, suicide among middle-aged adults is also rising.

A new NCHS report presents an overview of suicide mortality in the United States from 1999 through 2014. Suicide rates in 1999 are compared with 2014 for both females and males across age groups, and percentages are compared by method (firearms, poisoning, suffocation, and other means).


  • From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24%, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 population, with the pace of increase greater after 2006.
  • Suicide rates increased from 1999 through 2014 for both males and females and for all ages 10–74.
  • The percent increase in suicide rates for females was greatest for those aged 10–14, and for males, those aged 45–64.
  • The most frequent suicide method in 2014 for males involved the use of firearms (55.4%), while poisoning was the most frequent method for females (34.1%).
  • Percentages of suicides attributable to suffocation increased for both sexes between 1999 and 2014.


Changes in Life Expectancy by Race and Hispanic Origin in the United States, 2013–2014

April 21, 2016

A new NCHS report presents changes in life expectancy by race, Hispanic origin, and sex in the United States between 2013 and 2014.

Life expectancy was estimated using complete period life tables that are based on death rates adjusted for race and Hispanic origin misclassification on death certificates.

Life expectancy represents the average number of years that a hypothetical group of infants would live at each attained age if the group was subject, throughout its lifetime, to the age-specific death rates prevailing for the actual population in a given year.


  • Between 2013 and 2014, life expectancy at birth for the total U.S. population (78.8 years), males (76.4), or females (81.2) did not change.
  • Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.4 years for non-Hispanic black males and by 0.1 years for Hispanic males. It remained unchanged for non-Hispanic white males.
  • Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.2 years for Hispanic females, remained unchanged for non-Hispanic black females, and declined by 0.1 years for non-Hispanic white females.
  • Hispanic males experienced the greatest increase in life expectancy at age 65 (0.3 years), followed by Hispanic females (0.2), and all other groups experienced a 0.1 year increase in life expectancy at age 65.