Questions for Sally C. Curtin, M.A., Demographer/Statistician and Lead Author on “Declines in Cancer Death Rates Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 1999-2014”
Q: How have trends in cancer death rates for children and adolescents in the United States changed over time?
SC: This report presents recent trends in cancer death rates for children and adolescents in the United States, at the turn of and during the first part of the 21st century. Cancer deaths to children and adolescents had been declining since the 1970s through the end of the 20th century. This report shows that the decline continued from 1999-2014, by 20%. The declines were for both males and females aged 1-19, for all 5-year age groups within the 1-19 age range, and for white and black children and adolescents.
Q: What type of cancer is taking our young people in the United States now – and which kind of cancer has been the greatest cause of death for youth over the years?
SC: I think when you say “childhood cancer”, most people first think of leukemia, as this type of cancer had been the leading type for decades–both in terms of incidence and deaths. However, what our report shows is that there was a shift during the 1999-2014 period, and the leading type of cancer causing death in children and adolescents aged 1-19 years is now brain cancer. This is a recent development as the number of brain cancer deaths first exceeded that of leukemia in 2011; 2014 was the first year that this difference was statistically significant.
Q: Was the decline experienced for all age groups within the 1-19 years of age range?
SC: Yes, all 5-year age groups experienced declines, with the youngest children, those aged 1-4, having the largest percentage decline of 26%. In 2014, death rates for children ages 1-4, 5-9, and 10-14 years were not significantly different from each other, while rates for older adolescents aged 15-19 were the highest of all groups.
Q: What are the trends among race and ethnicity groups in cancer death rates for young Americans?
SC: This report shows that there is parity in cancer death rates among white and black children and adolescents aged 1-19. The parity was there for all three years–1999, 2006, and 2014–and both groups experienced declines over the period.
Q: What do you think is the most significant finding in your new study?
SC: Probably the recent shift in the leading site, from leukemia to brain cancer. This is a noteworthy development in the history of childhood cancer as it was always leukemia until quite recently. Brain cancer deaths to children and adolescents aged 1-19 did not go up over the time period studied, but rather, fluctuated and remained stable. It was the decline for leukemia deaths that caused the crossover in numbers so that the percentage of all cancer deaths is now highest for brain cancer, accounting for 3-in-10 cancer deaths in 2014 for the pediatric population.
QuickStats: Percentages of Residential Care Communities and Adult Day Services Centers that Provided Selected Services — United States, 2014September 9, 2016
In 2014, a greater percentage of residential care communities than adult day service centers provided five of seven selected services.
The majority of residential care communities provided pharmacy services (82%); followed by transportation for social activities (79%); physical, occupational, or speech therapy (69%); hospice (62%); skilled nursing (59%); and mental health services (52%).
Fewer than half provided social work services (48%).
The majority of adult day services centers provided transportation for social activities (69%); skilled nursing (66%); and social work (52%). %).
Fewer than half provided physical, occupational, or speech therapy (49%). One third or less provided mental health (33%), pharmacy (27%), and hospice services (12%).
Questions for Hanyu Ni, Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Director for Science and Lead Author on “COPD-Related Mortality by Sex and Race Among Adults Aged 25 and Over: United States, 2000-2014”
Q: How have trends in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) related deaths changed since 2000?
HN: Overall, the COPD-related death rate decreased 12.3% from 2000 through 2014 after adjustment for age. The crude death rate remained flat over time.
Q: What is the difference between COPD-related deaths and chronic lower respiratory disease mortality – the latter which is listed as the third leading cause of death in the United States?
HN: Chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD) comprises three major diseases, i.e., chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma — that are all characterized by shortness of breath caused by airway obstruction. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) includes mainly emphysema and chronic bronchitis. From 2000 through 2014, COPD accounted for approximately 96% of all CLRD deaths every
Q: How has COPD-related mortality changed among men and women over time?
HN: The COPD-related death rate declined more rapidly among men than among women. The age-adjusted rate for men declined 22.5% from 183.0 per 100,000 standard population in 2000, to 141.9 in 2014. The rate for women declined 3.8% from 104.9 in 2000 to 100.9 in 2014.
Q: Are there differences among race and age groups in COPD-related deaths?
HN: The changes over time in the COPD-related death rate differed by sex, race, and age. Between 2000 and 2014, the COPD-related death rate declined among men aged 65 and older and among women aged 65 and 84. However, the death rate increased among middle-aged men and women aged 45-64 and women aged 85 years and older. During the same period, the rate declined among white men and black men, remained stable among white women, but increased among black women.
Q: What do you think is the most significant finding in your new study?
HN: Using multiple-cause-of death data, this analysis found that the COPD-related death rate is roughly twice as high as the previously reported rate based on the underlying cause of death. This analysis also revealed an increased risk in COPD-related mortality among black women, both men and women aged 45-64, and women aged 85 and over.
Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-March 2016September 7, 2016
Questions for Robin Cohen, Ph.D., Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January-March 2016”
Q: How have trends in health insurance coverage in the United States changed in the first quarter of 2016 compared to last year, and compared to 2010 when the Affordable Care Act was established?
RC: In the first 3 months of 2016, 27.3 million — or 8.6 percent of persons of all ages — were uninsured. This is 1.3 million fewer persons than in 2015 and 21.3 million fewer persons than in 2010. In 2015, the uninsured rate is in the single digits for the first time since the National Health Interview Survey began measuring health insurance in 1959.
Also, from January through March 2016, among adults aged 18 to 64, 11.9 percent were uninsured at the time of interview, 19.5 percent had public coverage, and 70.2 percent had private health insurance coverage. Among the 138.2 million adults in this age group with private coverage, 9.2 million or 4.7 percent were covered by private health insurance plans obtained through the Health Insurance Marketplace or state-based exchanges.
Q: What explains the drop in the uninsured rate during the first quarter of 2016, after the rate was essentially unchanged during the last three periods for 2015?
RC: The estimates for the previous three reports are based on an average over 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months of data for the November 2015, February 2016, and May 2016 reports respectively.
Q: How is health insurance coverage looking this year for our youngest population – children under 18 years of age?
RC: In the first quarter of 2016, 5 percent of children under 18 years of age were uninsured; 42.1 percent had public coverage, and 54.9 percent had private coverage. The percentage of children who were uninsured decreased from 13.9 percent in 1997 to 5 percent in the first 3 months of 2016.
Q: Where do high-deductible plans through private health insurance fit into 2016 estimates compared to earlier years?
RC: Forty percent of persons under age 65 with private health insurance were enrolled in a high-deductible health plan in the first 3 months of 2016. The percentage who were enrolled in a high deductible health plan increased almost 15 percentage points from 25.3 percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2016’s first quarter. More recently, the percentage enrolled in a high-deductible plan increased from 36.7 percent in 2015 to 40 percent in 2016.
Q: What are the trends among race and ethnicity groups in health insurance coverage this year and compared over time?
RC: In the first 3 months of 2016, 24.5 percent of Hispanic, 13 percent of non-Hispanic black, 8.4 percent of non-Hispanic white, and 6.7 percent of non-Hispanic Asian adults aged 18 to 64 lacked health insurance coverage. There were significant decreases in the percentage of uninsured adults observed between 2015 and the first 3 months of 2016 among these four race and ethnicity groups. Hispanic adults had the greatest percentage point decrease of 16.1 percentage points in the uninsured rate between 2013 and the first 3 months of 2016.
QuickStats: Percentage of Physicians Who Have Electronic Access to Patient Health Information from Outside Their Medical Practice by StateSeptember 2, 2016
In 2015, approximately half (50.3%) of the physicians in the United States had information from other providers outside of their practice electronically available at the point of care.
There was wide variation by state, ranging from 34.6% in Idaho to 76.4% in South Dakota.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia were in the range with the lowest percentage of physicians with electronic access to more comprehensive patient information (34.6%–47.2%).
Another 16 states were in the middle range (47.3%–57%). The 18 states with the highest percentage of physicians having such information electronically available were in the top range (57.1%– 76.4%).