Urban-Rural Differences in Drug Overdose Death Rates, 1999-2019

March 17, 2021

Questions for Holly Hedegaard, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Urban-Rural Differences in Drug Overdose Death Rates, 1999-2019.”

Q: How do drug overdose death rates in urban and rural areas compare?

HH: Over the past 20 years, rates of drug overdose deaths have increased in both urban and rural areas. Rates in rural areas were higher than in urban areas from 2007 through 2015, but in 2016 that pattern changed. From 2016 through 2019, rates have been higher in urban areas than in rural areas.

Although urban rates are higher than rural rates nationally, for 5 states (California, Connecticut, North Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia), rates are higher in rural areas than in urban areas.


Q: Is this the most recent data you have on this topic?  When do you plan on releasing 2020 data?

HH: Final 2020 data won’t be released until the end of 2021. In the interim, monthly provisional estimates of drug overdose death rates are available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm


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

HH: In this report, we looked at trends in rates for drug overdose deaths involving certain types of opioids, including natural and semisynthetic opioids. This group includes such drugs as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine – drugs that are often thought of as prescription opioids. In looking at the trends from 1999 through 2019, the rates of drug overdose deaths involving natural and semisynthetic opioids were higher in rural than in urban areas from 2004 through 2017, but in 2018 and 2019, the urban and rural rates were similar, because of a decline in the rates in rural areas. We will continue to monitor whether this decline in the rate continues.


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

HH: The key messages from this report are: 1) for the past 20 years, drug overdose death rates have increased in both urban and rural areas, and 2) there are urban-rural differences in the rates of drug overdose deaths involving specific types of drugs. For example, for the past 20 years, rates of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine or heroin have been consistently higher in urban areas than in rural areas. In contrast, in recent years, rates of drug overdose deaths involving psychostimulants (such as methamphetamine) have been higher in rural areas than in urban areas.


Q: Do you think rural counties will go back to having higher drug overdose death rates in the future?

HH: It’s impossible to predict what will happen in the future. While a lot of resources have been devoted to prevention and treatment of drug overdose in recent years, new drugs are becoming available all the time. NCHS will continue to monitor drug overdose deaths to identify patterns to help inform public health efforts.


Tracking Health Care Access and Mental Health Data During Pandemic

March 16, 2021

NCHS partnered with the Census Bureau on an experimental data system called the Household Pulse Survey to monitor recent changes in monitor trends in mental health, health insurance coverage, and problems accessing care. This 20-minute online survey was designed to complement the ability of the federal statistical system to rapidly respond and provide relevant information about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.

The data collection period for Phase 1 of the Household Pulse Survey occurred between April 23, 2020 and July 21, 2020. Phase 2 data collection occurred between August 19, 2020 and October 26, 2020.  Phase 3 of the Household Pulse Survey began data collection on October 28, 2020.

Highlights from recent data (February 17-March 1, 2021) in the Household Pulse Survey show:

  • Nearly 2 in 5 adults (38.9%) experienced symptoms associated with anxiety disorder and/or depressive disorder in the last 7 days.  This percentage is the lowest since October 2020.
  • One in 9 adults (11.9%) said they needed counseling or therapy for their mental health but did not get it in the last 4 weeks.
  • More than 3 in 10 adults (31.9%) delayed or did not get needed medical care in the last four weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic; This is a significant decrease from February 3-15 (34.2%).

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/health-care-access-and-mental-health.htm


PODCAST: COVID-19 Death Tracking Questions

March 12, 2021

STATCAST, MARCH 2021: DISCUSSION WITH ROBERT ANDERSON, A STATISTICIAN, ABOUT HOW COVID-19 DEATHS ARE TRACKED AND ENTERED ONTO THE DEATH CERTIFICATE .

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/podcasts/2021/20210312/20210312.htm

TRANSCRIPT

HOST: Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been a lot of questions about how COVID-19 deaths are tracked and how they are entered onto the death certificate.  Joining us to talk about those topics is Robert Anderson, Chief of Mortality Statistics at NCHS.

HOST:  There are two CDC sources of COVID-19 deaths.  Could you talk a little bit about each source – what they are and what role they play in providing key information about the pandemic?

ROBERT ANDERSON:  Sure – there are two main sources for COVID-19 deaths.  The first piece is the case surveillance system which is built on the national notifiable diseases surveillance system.  So anytime that there’s what’s called a reportable disease – these are things like measles or mumps or things that are of significant public health import – a case report has to be filed.  And of course at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic it was decided that COVID-19 would be a reportable disease as well.  So anytime any health care provider comes across a COVID-19 case they’re supposed to file a case report with the state health Department, with the County Health Department – it varies from state to state – so on that form there is a line that asks did the patient die from this disease.  It is capturing the fact of death from that particular disease.  So the case surveillance system then collects these reports and then aggregates them – they also do some, for those states that are really slow in sending reports, they also scrape websites in order to get numbers that they can report in a timely fashion.  The second source is from vital statistics and these data are based on death certificates. And the death certificate is filled out typically by a funeral director who provides demographic personal information and then physician/ medical examiner/coroner provides the cause of death information.  And these are permanent legal records of the fact of death and the cause of death, and so they take a little bit more time to complete.  These have to be done in a certain, specific way and they have to be done correctly.  And so it takes a little bit longer.  In general the death certificates lag the case reports by about two weeks on average, although that does vary quite a bit from state to state.

HOST: For the death certificate, NCHS issued a guidance report – a guidance document – for certifiers on how to include COVID-19 on the death certificate.  That came out about a year ago.  Can you talk about that a little bit?

ROBERT ANDERSON:  Sure.  At the beginning of the pandemic, we realized that we had an opportunity to reach out to physicians to help them understand how to complete the death certificate – in general, not just with regard to COVID-19.  And so we created this document that was specific to COVID-19 that showed them how to fill out the death certificate properly in general, and then once they determined that COVID-19 was either the cause of death or a contributing factor, how to report it on the death certificate.  This guidance just sort of builds on guidance that we issued several years earlier –  I think the last time we issued guidance, general guidance, was in 2003.  This guidance is essentially the same – it’s just specific to COVID-19. This builds on the guidance that we issued before.

HOST:  Turning to another topic here: comorbidities, other conditions contributing or involved with COVID-19 deaths.  There was some confusion about the note on Table 3 on the website on COVID-19 deaths by contributing condition.  The note says “For 6% of these deaths COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned on the death certificate.”  And this has led to some wild and inaccurate speculation that the other 94% of the deaths may have been really some other cause of death and not COVID-19.  Could you talk about that a little bit?

ROBERT ANDERSON:  Yeah sure.  I can provide a little bit of background here.  The cause of death section on the death certificate is designed in a specific way and it’s designed to elicit a sequence of events leading to death.  And then also to gather any significant conditions that contributed to death.  So you have Part One about “cause of death” section which asks the certifier to provide the causal sequence.  And so you would start on the top line and you would put the immediate cause of death.  To use a COVID-19 example, you might have “respiratory distress syndrome” which is a common complication of COVID-19.  And then you would work backwards from that immediate cause of death. And let’s suppose that respiratory distress was brought on by pneumonia, viral pneumonia, and so you would put on the second line “viral pneumonia.” And then on the third line – because we want to know what the cause of viral pneumonia was – if it was COVID-19, then you would write COVID-19 on the third line.  So you’d have respiratory distress due to viral pneumonia due to COVID-19.  That’s a logical causal sequence from the immediate cause working back to the underlying cause.  And then in Part Two, you could put any other conditions that might have contributed to death but weren’t part of that causal pathway in Part One.  Now with a disease like COVID-19, it should be fairly unusual to see only COVID-19 reported –  I mean normally we should at least see the complications caused by the disease, such as pneumonia or respiratory distress.  In cases where only COVID-19 is reported, the certifier is indicating that COVID-19 was the cause of death, but really they left it – the cause of death statement – somewhat incomplete.  They neglected to provide the entire causal pathway.  Now with regard to the other 94% which mentioned other diseases or conditions, it’s important to understand that in the overwhelming majority of these cases the additional diseases or conditions are either complications of COVID-19 – they are in the causal pathway, like pneumonia or respiratory distress – or they’re reported in Part Two as contributing conditions. So for about 92% of the deaths involving COVID-19 that mention other conditions –  91 or 92% – the certifiers indicated that COVID-19 is the primary or underlying cause.  This is not a situation where the certifier is writing all of the diseases that the person had equally; they’re actually reporting it in this causal sequence.  And in the overwhelming majority of cases, COVID-19 has been indicated as the cause of the death.  It’s the cause that started that causal pathway, that causal sequence leading to death.

HOST:  So to summarize, in some cases COVID-19 leads to complications such as pneumonia which can lead to death, and then in other cases a person already has a pre-existing condition – maybe diabetes or COPD – and in those cases COVID-19 can then cause serious illness and death in those individuals.  Is that correct?

ROBERT ANDERSON:  That’s essentially correct.  In almost all cases COVID-19 leads to some other complications, even if there are pre-existing chronic diseases.  So for those that die from COVID-19, COVID almost always initiates a sequence of conditions and those can include respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological complications.  And then the pre-existing chronic diseases seem to make things much worse and do seem to make people more prone to having a serious illness or death.

(MUSIC BRIDGE)

HOST: Join us next time for a further discussion with Robert Anderson about how COVID-19 is documented on death certificates.

HOST:  A few weeks ago NCHS released a provisional report on how the pandemic impacted life expectancy in 2020.  Each year NCHS releases national life tables for the country.  This week for the first time in several years NCHS released state estimates on life expectancy.  These life tables were based on final data for 2018, and showed that Hawaii had the highest life expectancy of any state – 81 years at birth. West Virginia had the lowest life expectancy in 2018 at 74.4 years.

This week NCHS also released its latest summary of visits to hospital emergency departments, using data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care survey.  The report showed ER visit rates were higher for infants than other age groups, and were also higher for females than for males.

in, specific way and they have to be done correctly.  And so it takes a little bit longer.  So in general the death certificates lag the case reports by about two weeks on average, although that does vary quite a bit from from state to state.

HOST: For the death certificate, NCHS issued a guidance report – a guidance document – for certifiers on how to include COVID-19 on the death certificate.  That came out about a year ago.  Can you talk about that a little bit?

ROBERT ANDERSON:  Sure.  At the beginning of the pandemic, we realized that we had an opportunity to reach out to physicians to help them understand how to complete the death certificate – in general, not just with regard to COVID-19.  And so we created this document that was specific to COVID-19 that showed them how to fill out the death certificate properly in general, and then once they determined that COVID-19 was either the cause of death or a contributing factor, how to report it on the death certificate.  This guidance just sort of builds on guidance that we issued several years –  I think the last time we issued guidance, general guidance, was in 2003.  This guidance is essentially the same – it’s just specific to COVID-19. This builds on the guidance that we issued before.

HOST:  Turning to another topic here: comorbidities, other conditions contributing or involved with COVID-19 deaths.  There was some confusion about the note on Table 3 on the website and COVID-19 deaths by contributing condition.  The note says “For 6% of these deaths COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned on the death certificate.”  And this has led to some wild and inaccurate speculation that the other 94% of the deaths may have been really some other cause of death and not COVID-19.  Could you talk about that a little bit?

ROBERT ANDERSON:  Yeah sure.  So I can provide a little bit of background here.  So the cause of death section on the death certificate is designed in a specific way and it’s designed to elicit a sequence of events leading to death.  And then also to gather any significant conditions that contributed to death.  So you have Part One about “cause of death” section which asks the certifier to provide the causal sequence.  And so you would start on the top line and you would put the immediate cause of death.  So to use a COVID-19 example, you might have “respiratory distress syndrome” which is a common complication of COVID-19.  And then you would work backwards from that immediate cause of death and let’s suppose that respiratory distress was brought on by pneumonia, viral pneumonia, and so you would put on the second line “viral pneumonia.” And then on the third line – because we want to know what the cause of viral pneumonia was – if it was COVID-19 then you would write COVID-19 on the third line.  So you’d have respiratory distress due to viral pneumonia due to COVID-19.  That’s a logical causal sequence from the immediate cause working back to the underlying cause.  And then in Part Two, you could put any other conditions that might have contributed to death but weren’t part of that causal pathway in Part One.  Now with a disease like COVID-19 it should be fairly unusual to see only COVID-19 reported –  I mean normally we should at least see the complications caused by the disease, such as pneumonia or respiratory distress.  In cases where only COVID-19 is reported, the certifier is indicating that COVID-19 was the cause of death, but really they left it – the cause of death statement – somewhat incomplete.  They neglected to provide the entire causal pathway.  Now with regard to the other 94% which mentioned other diseases or conditions, it’s important to understand that in the overwhelming majority of these cases the additional diseases or conditions are either complications of COVID-19 – they are in the causal pathway, like pneumonia or respiratory distress – or they’re reported in Part Two as contributing conditions. So for about 92% of the deaths involving COVID-19 that mention other conditions –  91 or 92% – the certifiers indicated that COVID-19 is the primary or underlying cause.  So this is not a situation where the certifier is writing all of the diseases that the person had equally; they’re actually reporting it in this causal sequence.  And in the overwhelming majority of cases, COVID-19 has been indicated as the cause of the death.  It’s the cause that started that causal pathway, that causal sequence leading to death.

HOST:  So to summarize, in some cases COVID-19 leads to complications such as pneumonia which can lead to death, and then in other cases a person already has a pre-existing condition – maybe diabetes or COPD – and in those cases COVID-19 can then cause serious illness and death in those individuals.  Is that correct?

ROBERT ANDERSON:  That’s essentially correct.  In almost all cases COVID-19 leads to some other complications, even if there are pre-existing chronic diseases.  So for those that die from COVID-19, COVID almost always initiates a sequence of conditions and those can include respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological complications.  And then the pre-existing chronic diseases seem to make things much worse and do seem to make people more prone to having a serious illness or death.

(MUSIC BRIDGE)

HOST: Join us next time for a further discussion with Robert Anderson about how COVID-19 is documented on death certificates.

HOST:  A few weeks ago NCHS released a provisional report on how the pandemic impacted life expectancy in 2020.  Each year NCHS releases national life tables for the country.  This week for the first time in several years NCHS released state estimates on life expectancy.  These life tables were based on final data for 2018, and showed that Hawaii had the highest life expectancy of any state – 81 years at birth. West Virginia had the lowest life expectancy in 2018 at 74.4 years.

This week NCHS also released its latest summary of visits to hospital emergency departments, using data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care survey.  The report showed ER visit rates were higher for infants than other age groups, and were also higher for females than for males.


QuickStats: Rates of Firearm-Related Deaths Among Persons Aged 15 Years or Older, by Selected Intent and Age Group

March 12, 2021

Among persons aged 15 years or older, for all firearm-related deaths (all intents), rates were highest among those aged 15–24 years (17.4 per 100,000).

For deaths involving firearm-related suicides, rates increased with age, from 6.6 among persons aged 15–24 years to 11.8 among those aged 65 years or older.

A different pattern was found for firearm-related homicides, in which rates decreased with age, from 10.2 among those aged 15–24 years to 0.9 among those aged 65 years or older.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality Data, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/deaths.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7010a5.htm


U.S. State Life Tables, 2018

March 11, 2021

New NCHS report presents complete period life tables for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia by sex based on age-specific death rates in 2018.

Key Findings:

  • Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Hawaii had the highest life expectancy at birth, 81.0 years in 2018, and West Virginia had the lowest, 74.4 years.
  • Life expectancy at age 65 ranged from 17.5 years in Kentucky to 21.1 years in Hawaii.
  • Life expectancy at birth was higher for females in all states and the District of Columbia.
  • The difference in life expectancy between females and males ranged from 3.8 years in Utah to 6.2 years in New Mexico.

National Nutrition Month 2021

March 10, 2021

March is National Nutrition Month.  The latest NCHS data shows that obesity estimates among adults aged 20 and over have almost doubled from 22.9% in 1988-1994 to 42.4% in 2017-2018.

Approximately three-quarters of children and adolescents aged 2–19 (75.3%) and more than two-thirds (67.3%) of adults aged 20 and over consumed fruit on a given day.  Almost 95% of adults and more than 90% of children and adolescents aged 2-19 consumed any vegetables on a given day.

17.1% of adults aged 20 and over are on a special diet on a given day and more than half (57.6%) used any dietary supplement in the past 30 days.

Water accounts for more than half of total nonalcoholic beverage consumption (51.2%) among U.S. adults.

For more information about NCHS, visit https://www.cdc.gov/nchs.

For more information on NHANES, visit https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm.


Emergency Department Visit Rates by Selected Characteristics: United States, 2018

March 9, 2021

Questions for Christopher Cairns, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Emergency Department Visit Rates by Selected Characteristics: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, United States, 2018.”

Q: Do you have trend data on emergency department visit rates that goes further back than 2007?

CC: We do have annual reports of emergency department visits prior to 2007 that include emergency department visit rates. These reports are available at the National Center for Health Statistics website, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ahcd/ahcd_reports.htm.


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

CC: There were no surprising findings as our findings in this report are similar to the estimates from 2017.


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

CC: Data were obtained through the annual National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey which collects patient and hospital data on emergency department visits. These data are publicly available at ftp://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/Datasets/NHAMCS


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

CC: Emergency department visit rates vary by many patient and hospital characteristics. This report gives an overview regarding the nation’s status of emergency department visits.


Q: Does this report include multiple visits or just one emergency department visit by an individual?

CC: These data represent approximately 130 million emergency department visits made in 2018. It is possible that the same person could have had multiple visits to the ED over the course of the year. This data is not collected, so it is not possible to know how often this happens.


PODCAST: Latest Edition of Health, United States

March 5, 2021

STATCAST, MARCH 2021: DISCUSSION WITH RENEE GINDI, A STATISTICIAN, ABOUT LATEST EDITION OF HEALTH, UNITED STATES.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/podcasts/2021/20210226/2021022

TRANSCRIPT

HOST:  This week marked the release of “Health, United States,” a compilation of data on a wide range of topics, from birth to death – and everything in-between – including: health care, disease prevalence, and other risk factors facing the population.  “Health, United States” is unique because it features not only data from NCHS, but also from sources outside of NCHS, including other federal health agencies. In compliance with the Public Health Service Act, the report is ultimately submitted from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to Congress and the President.  This latest report is the 43rd edition, and to put that into further perspective, the very first edition of “Health, United States” was published in 1976, when Gerald Ford was president.  That report looked much different from the current edition.  For example, the first report did not contain any data on HIV/AIDS – because the disease was still unknown at the time.  Through the years, the content in the report has evolved to meet emerging public health needs.

Joining us today is Dr. Renee Gindi, who leads the NCHS team that produces the report.

HOST: Turning to this latest edition that came out this week, what are some of the significant highlights in this report?

RENEE GINDI: For the most part, I’ve been talking about three different narratives or stories that line up throughout the chart book.  The first is on leading causes of death and trends in those leading causes of death.  The second is thinking about continuing disparities by race and Hispanic origin.  And the third one is changes in health insurance and access.  The two leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer, and together they accounted for 44% of deaths.  When we look at the trends in mortality due to cancer and heart disease, we find that for the most part between 2008 and 2018 the death rates for cancer had a pretty stable drop.  But that wasn’t the case for heart disease.  We found that when we looked between 2008 and 2018 that while there was a decline certainly over that entire period, actually the rate of that decline was lower between 2011 and 2018.  It just means that while the rate of deaths due to heart disease was falling, it didn’t fall quite as quickly in the second part of that decade.  One of the things that we’re able to do with Health U.S. is t pull together multiple data sources to help understand the topic, so the next thing we did is we also follow this up with a look at trends in heart disease among adults age 18 and older as well as trends in reported history of cancer.  And we saw results that seem to correspond pretty well with those changes in the mortality rate.  For heart disease, we saw a decrease in prevalence between 2008 and 2018 among men and women age 65 and older, and then also among women aged 45 to 64. Results for the reported history of cancer were a little bit more mixed, where when we looked at the reported history of cancer over that time period we did see decreases in the percentage of women age 18 to 44 who reported history of cancer but increases among women aged 65 and over. So when we are able to look not only at mortality and also prevalence of heart disease and cancer, we can also look at prevention.  And so the Health U.S. team also focused on cancer screening trends, this year looking 1st at the use of colorectal cancer testing among adults age 50 to 75.  One of the things we saw we looked at this particular set of trends broken down by race and Hispanic origin and while we certainly saw increases in the percentage of adults who had reported having colorectal cancer testing between 2008 and 2018 in all of the racial in Hispanic origin groups that we studied, we still saw differences by racial and Hispanic origin group by 2018.  We had a little bit of a similar story with the use of mammogram in the past two years.  So while we didn’t see any increases or decreases in the percentage of women who reported having a mammogram in the past two years, by 2018 we still saw some differences by race and Hispanic origin.  So picking up on those differences in race and Hispanic origin, we were able to explore those kinds of differences and disparities across the chart book and across the figures.

HOST:  I want to sort of zero in on the topic of vital statistics, because during the pandemic what we’ve now seen is data coming out very rapidly to meet the needs of the pandemic.  How do you see Health U.S. in the future utilizing vital statistics now that there’s been this surge in speed of data release?

RENEE GINDI:  I think that’s a really great question and I think that can be a really broad question, thinking about the statistical community in general.  There’s a real tension between the desire to get out the most accurate, triple-checked final data, but also the need to get actionable evidence out to the public and the public health community as quickly as possible.  And I think Health U.S. is a good example of that issue.  Partially because we have a compendium of so many different data sources, we have a real tension in our annual report of having all of the data line up so that we’ve got all the same data leading to the same most current point versus getting the report out before we need to update it with new data. I think that you’ve really identified, both with vital statistics and with the National Health Interview Survey Early Release program, some real challenges for us as we figure out how to – and whether to – incorporate these earlier sources of data into what has traditionally been a report that focuses on the final sources.

HOST:  So now that we’ve transitioned to a more web-based electronic environment in terms of publishing, how is Health U.S. adapted to those changes?

RENEE GINDI:  We have been a product since 1975, and we’ve been keeping up with the times since then.  We started sending our trend tables out on floppy disk in 1990, and we had our first publication on the World Wide Web in Y2K.  So we have a really long tradition of trying to make sure that we provide high quality data in a timely way to the broadest possible audience.  In service of that, in the past few years we’ve actually introduced something called the “Data Finder” page which has become the most popular way to access the Health U.S. tables and figures.  Using the Data Finder, people can search for different kinds of health topics or choose from different population or geographic subgroups that they’re interested in.  They can download individual printable PDF tables for reference.  Or they can download an Excel table to be able to get more data years, more statistical information, or to work with the data themselves.  Our future really, I think, brings that same commitment to timeliness, quality, and utility.  We’re trying to phase in improved access.  So we want more people to be able to access our data more quickly.  We want to bring in topical web pages to allow people to search for topics that they are interested in.  And we want to have more timely trend table updates, to be able to update those data tables, those trend tables, in a way that’s a little bit closer to when those data become available.  We really want to focus our analysis on those cornerstone detailed trend tables, and one of the things that will help us do is to report on more trends in a broader variety of topics, rather than the smaller selection that we’ve needed to focus on when we are working on the chart books.  And we want to really also look towards a more streamlined annual summary, and that will allow us to report on this year’s-worth of updates across the topical pages in a slightly smaller format to make it more accessible to our policymaker audience.

(Music bridge)

HOST:  Our thanks to Dr. Renee Gindi for joining us on this edition of “Statcast.”

HOST:  The National Household Pulse Survey, which tracks mental health and health care access issues during the pandemic, released its latest data last week, covering the period February 3 thru the 15th.   Nearly 2 out of 5 adults reported anxiety or depression-like symptoms in the previous week.  This 39% figure was the lowest number reported since October.  Nearly a quarter of adults with anxiety or depression-related symptoms over the past four weeks did not get needed mental health care during this time.  Over a third of adults delayed or did not get necessary medical care in the past four weeks due to the pandemic.

Today, NCHS also released the latest quarterly provisional data on infant mortality in the United States.  The infant mortality rate remained stable during the first quarter of 2020, at nearly 5.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.  The rate has remained quite stable over the past several years.


QuickStats: Percentage of Adults in Fair or Poor Health, by Age Group and Race and Ethnicity

March 5, 2021

In 2019, the percentage of adults in fair or poor health increased by age (7.8% for those aged 18–39 years, 17.2% for those 40–64 years, and 25.1% for those ≥65 years) and for each racial/ethnic group shown.

Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black adults were most likely to be in fair or poor health in each age group.

Among persons aged 18–39 and 40–64 years, non-Hispanic Asian adults were least likely to be in fair or poor health.

Among persons aged ≥65 years, non-Hispanic Asian and non-Hispanic White adults were least likely to be in fair or poor health.

Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black adults aged ≥65 years had the highest percentages of fair or poor health (40.3% and 35.5%, respectively), and non-Hispanic Asian adults aged 18–39 years had the lowest percentage of fair or poor health (4.1%).

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2019 data. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm


NCHS Releases Latest Health, United States Report and Hosting Upcoming Webinar

March 2, 2021

The latest Health, United States report for the President and Congress has been released by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics today.  The Health, United States series features national trends in health status and determinants, health care utilization, health care resources, and health care expenditures and payers from a variety of data sources, and provides relevant data to policymakers and public health professionals to inform evidence-based decisions.

NCHS will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, March 4, 2021, which will feature key findings from the report, as well as a review of tools for using the data in health disparities research and an update for viewers on program modernization efforts.