Electronic Cigarette Use Among U.S. Adults, 2018

April 30, 2020

A new NCHS report examines e-cigarette use among U.S. adults aged 18 and over by selected sociodemographic characteristics and in relation to cigarette smoking status.

Click to access db365-h.pdf


Marriage Rates in the United States, 1900–2018

April 29, 2020

Questions for Sally Curtin, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Marriage Rates in the United States, 1900–2018.”

Q: Why did you decide to do a report on marriages?

SC: NCHS computes and publishes marriage rates every year, in total and by State.  As we were working on the 2018 rates, we noticed that the rate had declined yet again, to an all-time low.  This prompted us to write a report looking at the trend over the long term, to help put the 2018 rate in perspective.

Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you from this report?

SC: The marriage rate had been declining since the early 1980s and by 2003 the rate had dropped below the previous low of 7.9 during the heart of the Great Depression (1932).  The rate had leveled off from 2009 to 2017 but then dropped again by 6% from 2017 to 2018.   This most recent drop after leveling off at a relatively low level does make you wonder how low it will go.

Q: Do you have any data on U.S. marriage rates before 1900?

SC: Yes, federal data on marriage go back to 1867 and are published in a previous report which also includes a detailed history of the marriage and divorce reporting.  However, the data from 1867-1899 were less reliable and often not national so we focused on 1900-2018 in this report.  Nonetheless, the 2018 marriage rate of 6.5 per 1,000 is lower than any of the rates from 1867-1899, which ranged between 8.6 and 9.6 per 1,000.

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

SC: The message is that a declining trend in the marriage rate which began in the early 1980s has continued into the 21st century and now the rate is at an all-time low, even lower than in the heart of the Great Depression.

Q: Do you have demographic breakdowns of U.S. marriage rates?

SC: NCHS collects counts of marriages but no longer collects detailed information on marriages—the characteristics of brides and groom from marriage certificates.  This collection ceased in the mid-1990s due to budgetary and priority considerations. But we do know from other data sources, namely data from the Current Population Survey from the Census Bureau, that the average age at first marriage has continued to increase and is about age 30 for males now and age 28 for females.

Fact or Fiction: Is the marriage rate in America at the lowest it’s been in over a century?

April 29, 2020

Source: National Vital Statistics System, 1910-2018


QuickStats: Percentage of Currently Employed Adults Aged 18 Years or Older Who Reported an Average of 6 Hours of Sleep or less per 24-Hour Period, by Employment Category

April 24, 2020

The percentage of employed adults who reported an average of 6 hours or less of sleep per 24-hour period increased from 28.4% during 2008–2009 to 32.6% during 2017–2018.

During this period, increases were noted among private sector employees (29.5% to 33.3%), government employees (28.8% to 32.8%), and the self-employed (24.3% to 31.4%).

A lower percentage of the self- employed reported 6 hours or less of sleep compared with private sector and government employees during 2008–2009.

The smaller differences by employment categories noted during 2017–2018 were not statistically significant.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2008–2009 and 2017–2018. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.


Total and High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Adults: United States, 2015–2018

April 22, 2020

Questions for Margaret Carroll, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Total and High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Adults: United States, 2015–2018.”

Q: How has the prevalence of high total cholesterol among US adults changed since 1999-2000 data and and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) since 2007-2008?

MC: There has been a declining trend in the prevalence of high total cholesterol since 1999-2000 and a declining trend in the prevalence of low HDL-C since 2007-2008.

Q: Can you summarize how the data varied by sex, age groups and race?

MC: The prevalence of high total cholesterol:

  • Higher in adults aged 40-59 than in adults aged 20-39 and those aged 60 and over
  • Not significantly different between men and women aged 20 and older
  • Not significantly different among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, non-Hispanic Asians and Hispanics

The prevalence of low HDL-C:

  • Higher in men than in women overall, within each age group and within each race and Hispanic origin group.
  • lower among NH black adults than in non-Hispanic white adults, non-Hispanic Asian adults and Hispanic adults over all and in men.
  • Higher among Hispanic adults than among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic Asian adults overall, among men and among women.

Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you from this report?

MC: Although we weren’t surprised because the results have been seen in the past, men continue to have a much higher prevalence of low HDL-C compared to women.

Q: How did you obtain this data for this report?

MC: Results presented in this report are based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative, cross sectional, probability survey representative of the United States non-institutionalized population.  Beginning in 1999 NHANES became a continuous survey and data have been released in 2-year cycles.  Data from 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 were used to test differences in the prevalence of high total and low HDL-C cholesterol between subgroups. Trends in the prevalence of high total cholesterol are based on data from ten 2-year cycles from 1999-2000 through 2017-2018. Trends in the prevalence of low HDL-C are based on six 2-year cycles from 2007-2008 through 2017-2018

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

MC: Over 1 in ten (11%) adults have high total cholesterol and over 17% have low HDL-C. The prevalence of high total cholesterol has declined since 1999-2000; the prevalence of low HDL-C has declined since 2007-2008.

15 Leading Causes of Death in the United States: 2018

April 19, 2020


Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States during 2018 (the most recent year in which final data are available).  There were 48,344 suicides in 2018, which is over 5,000 deaths more than the 11th leading cause of death, Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (42,838 deaths).  Right behind liver disease and cirrhosis at No. 12 was Septicemia, which killed 40,718 Americans in 2018.  The 13th and 14th leading causes of death in 2018, Hypertension and Parkinson disease, were also close in numbers:  35,835 deaths from Hypertension and 33,829 deaths from Parkinson.  Pneumonitis from solids and liquids, with 19,239 deaths, was a distant 15th on the list of leading killers during 2018.

Source:  National Vital Statistics System, 2018

QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Drug Overdose Death Rates by State — United States, 2018

April 17, 2020

In 2018, 23 states and DC had drug overdose death rates that were higher than the national rate of 20.7 per 100,000.

Except for Arizona and New Mexico, states with higher rates were in the eastern part of the country, including the two states with the highest rates: West Virginia (51.5) and Delaware (43.8). Twenty-four states had rates that were lower than the national rate; the states with the lowest rates were Nebraska (7.4) and South Dakota (6.9).

Three states (Illinois, Nevada, and Utah) had rates that were not statistically different from the national rate.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality Data. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/deaths.htm.