Births in the United States, 2016

September 27, 2017

Questions for Joyce A. Martin, M.P.H., Demographer, Statistician, and Lead Author on “Births in the United States, 2016.”

Q: How have birth rates changed in 2016 among different age groups?

JM: In general, births rates for women aged under 30 declined in 2016, whereas rates for women 30 and over rose. By age group, however, the change in rates changed differed considerably. The birth rates for teens aged 15-19 declined 9% from 2015 to 2016, whereas the rates declined 4% for women aged 20-24 and 2% for women aged 25-29. For women aged 30 and over, rate rose 1% for women aged 30-34, 2% for women aged 35-39, and 4% for women aged 40-44. As a result of the rise in the birth rate for older women, women aged 30–34 have for the first time in 2016 a higher birth rate than women aged 25–29.

Q: What did your report find on the trends for triplet and higher order multiple births?

JM: The rate of triplet and higher order multiple births was 101.4 per 100,000 total births in 2016, down 48% from the peak in 1998.

Q: Was there anything in the 2016 birth data that surprised you?

JM: The continued decline in birth rates among women under age 30 and the continued increase in the preterm birth rate which rose for the second straight year to 9.85% in 2016.  This rate had been on the decline from 2007 to 2014.

Q: What is the take home message from this report?

JM: The report documents a continuation of recent trends in several key birth measures in the United States.  Most notably, continued declines in childbearing among women under 30 years of age, continued declines in the cesarean delivery rate and increases in the preterm birth rate.

Q: When do you expect the Final 2016 Births report will be released?

JM: We expect the report to be released late this year or in early 2018.

QuickStats: Human Immunodeficiency Virus Disease Death Rates Among Women Aged 45–64 Years, by Race and Age Group — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2000–2015

September 25, 2017

Among black women aged 45–54 years, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease death rate decreased 60% from 28.4 per 100,000 in 2006 to 11.5 in 2015.

Among black women aged 55–64 years, the rate increased 42% from 10.0 in 2000 to 14.2 in 2008, before declining to 10.3 in 2015.

Among white women aged 45–54 years, the rate decreased 53% from 1.9 in 2005 to 0.9 in 2015.

Among white women aged 55–64 years, the rate did not change, remaining at about 0.8.

Throughout the period, HIV disease death rates among black women were higher compared with rates among white women for both age groups.

Source: National Vital Statistics System

Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January – March 2017 National Health Interview Survey

September 21, 2017

Questions for Tina Norris, Ph.D., Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January – March 2017 National Health Interview Survey.”

Q: Were there any findings that surprised you in this early release report?

TN: It is hard to say with quarter 1 findings that anything is truly “surprising” because estimates are based on a smaller sample sizes and could fluctuate a bit before settling down by the time we have a full year’s worth of data to analyze.

Q: Are there any trends in this report that Americans should be concerned about?

TN: Obesity is an epidemic that has seen a steady increase since 1997 and now affects just under one third (32.0%) of U.S. adults.

Q: Can you define what the health measure “usual place to go for medical care” means?

TN: Having a “usual place to go for medical care” is based on the question, “Is there a place that you usually go to when you are sick or need advice about your health?” If there was at least one such place, then a follow-up question was asked: “What kind of place [is it/do you go to most often]—a clinic, doctor’s office, emergency room, or some other place?” Adults who indicated that the emergency room was their usual place for care were considered not to have a usual place for health care.

Q: What do the findings in this report tell us about access to healthcare?

TN: Since 2010, the percentage of uninsured persons has decreased by almost 50% (16.0% vs 8.8%), and the percentage of persons who had a usual place to go for medical care increased from 85.4% in 2010, to 88.8% in January–March 2017. These two indicators demonstrate increased access to healthcare from 2010 through the first quarter of 2017.

Q: How do you collect your data for these surveys?

TN: The data is collected by household interview surveys that are fielded continuously throughout the year by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Interviews are conducted in respondents’ homes. Health and socio-demographic information is collected on each member of all families residing within a sampled household. Within each family, additional information is collected from one randomly selected adult (the “sample adult”) aged 18 years or older and one randomly selected child (the “sample child”) aged 17 years or younger. NHIS data is collected at one point in time so we cannot determine causation. Data presented in this report are quarterly data and are preliminary.

QuickStats: Percentage of Women Who Missed Taking Oral Contraceptive Pills Among Women Aged 15–44 Years Who Used Oral Contraceptive Pills and Had Sexual Intercourse, Overall and by Age and Number of Pills Missed

September 18, 2017

Among women aged 15–44 years who used oral contraceptive pills in the last 4 weeks and had sexual intercourse in the past 12 months, 69% of women reported missing no pills, 15% missed one pill, and 16% missed two or more pills.

Across the two age groups (15–24 years and 25–44 years), similar percentages of women aged 15–24 years reported missing no pills (67%) compared with women aged 25–44 years (70%).

Similar percentages of women aged 15–24 years reported missing one pill (12%) compared with women aged 25–44 years (17%).

A higher percentage of women aged 15–24 years (21%) reported missing two or more pills compared with women aged 25–44 years (13%).

Source: National Survey of Family Growth, 2013–2015.

Stat of the Day – September 14, 2017

September 14, 2017

Is the use of antidepressant medication more common among women than men?

September 12, 2017

Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Death Rates from Unintentional Falls Among Adults Aged 65 Years or Older by Sex — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2000–2015

September 11, 2017

From 2000 to 2015, the age-adjusted unintentional fall death rate for adults aged ≥65 years increased an average of 4.9% per year.

The death rate for women increased from 24.6 to 52.4 per 100,000 population.

The death rate for men increased from 38.2 to 72.2. Throughout the period, men had higher death rates than women.


Stat of the Day – September 8, 2017

September 8, 2017

Sleep Duration and Quality Among Women Aged 40-59, by Menopausal Status

September 7, 2017

Questions for Anjel Vahratian, Ph.D., Author of “Sleep Duration and Quality Among Women Aged 40-59, by Menopausal Status

Q: What made you decide to conduct this study on sleep duration and sleep quality for this group of women?

AV: My research focuses on the health of women as they age and transition from the childbearing period. During this time, women may be at increased risk for chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. As insufficient sleep is a modifiable behavior that is associated with these chronic health conditions, I wanted to examine how sleep duration and quality varies by menopausal status.

Q: Was there a finding in your new study that surprised you, and if so, why?

AV: I was surprised to learn that nearly one in two women aged 40-59 did not wake up feeling well rested four times or more in the past week and that postmenopausal women aged 40-59 were more likely to experience disruptions in sleep quality compared with premenopausal women in the same age group.

Q: How did the women from your survey track their sleep behavior; for example, did they use a wearable sleep tracker?

AV: In this report, information on sleep duration and quality are based on self-report. Trained interviewers asked survey participants on average, how many hours of sleep did they get in a 24-hour period. In addition, they asked participants to recall how many times they had problems falling asleep and staying asleep and how many days they woke up not feeling well rested in the past week.

Q: In addition to menopausal status, do you have any other lifestyle information that could impact women’s sleep quality for this age group; for example, shift work employment or having infants or very young children in the home?

AV: While this report did not specifically look at other lifestyle factors that could affect women’s sleep duration and quality – other than age and menopausal status — my colleagues released a report in January 2016 on sleep duration and quality by sex and family type. This report looked at the presence of young children in the household. In addition, we have produced estimates of sleep duration and quality across several sociodemographic characteristics such as race and ethnicity, education, poverty status, marital status, and region.

Q: This report seems to offer just a single year of data – 2015; do you have any trend data to compare these findings to previous years, or any newer data?

AV: Unfortunately, we do not have any long-term trend data on sleep duration and quality among women aged 40-59 by menopausal status. The National Health Interview Survey, or NHIS, has included questions on sleep duration and quality since 2013, while the questions on menopausal status were a part of the 2015 NHIS cancer control supplement.

Q: What is the take-home message from this report?

AV: I think the real take-home message of this report is that sleep is critical for optimal health and wellbeing, and it is a modifiable risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. As sleep duration and quality vary by menopausal status, it is an area for targeted health promotion for women at midlife.

Infant Mortality Rates in Rural and Urban Areas in the United States, 2014

September 6, 2017

Questions for Danielle Ely, Ph.D., Statistician and Lead Author of “Infant Mortality Rates in Rural and Urban Areas in the United States, 2014

Q: What is the most significant finding in your study?

DE: The most significant finding in this study was the consistency with which infants in rural areas have significantly higher mortality rates than infants in urban places. Higher rural infant mortality was generally observed by race and Hispanic origin, mother’s age, and by infant age at death.

Q: Why are infant mortality rates higher in rural areas vs urban areas?

DE: Generally, previous research shows that health outcomes are poorer in rural places compared with urban places and this study is consistent with those findings. This study did not examine the factors that might be influencing the higher rural infant mortality in comparison with urban infant mortality.

Q: Is this surprising, or are problems with poverty, substance abuse, and health care that much worse in rural areas?

DE: Higher infant mortality in rural places compared with urban places is not necessarily surprising based on the number of other poor health outcomes (such as higher overall mortality rates, higher rates of disability) that rural residents have in comparison to urban residents.

Q: Are there any theories in the literature as to why this infant mortality disparity exists between rural and urban?

DE: Given there are some poorer health outcomes in rural areas, it is possible more pregnant women in rural areas have poorer general health than pregnant women in urban areas that can lead to poor infant outcomes. Further, there is generally less access to health care due to distance and number of providers available in rural areas, which can impact health outcomes.

Q: Any other findings of note that you find significant?

DE: These findings highlight the importance of place for infant survival and suggests the need for including place in research on health outcomes, as well as a need for further research on the greater risk of infant death in rural settings.