Mortality Among Adults Aged 25 and Over by Marital Status: United States, 2010–2017

October 11, 2019

Questions for Lead Author Sally Curtin, Health Statistician, of “Mortality Among Adults Aged 25 and Over by Marital Status: United States, 2010–2017.”

Q: This study seems to confirm what other research has concluded, that married people tend to live longer.  Would that be a correct assumption?

SC:  Yes, many studies have found that married people have better health and live longer than unmarried people.   In this report, we are presenting age-adjusted death rates which clearly show that the rates are lower for married than never-married, divorced or widowed adults.  In addition, the age-adjusted death rate for married adults declined 7% over the period, the largest decline of any group.


Q: There are a lot of jokes and other narratives in pop culture that married life is far from ideal, and yet these results seem to at least suggest that there is one major positive outcome related to the institution.  Do you know why that is?

SC:  There has been much research over the years on the pathways through which marriage might work to result in better health outcomes.  In particular, researchers have explored the question of whether marriage is selective for good health or whether the institution itself is protective of health.  By selective, I mean that people who are healthier, or who have correlates of better health (e.g. more education, higher income), are more likely to marry.  This is true for the most part.  However, there has also been research that has shown that marriage is protective of health, particularly for men, because married people are more likely to have health insurance, and a spouse may encourage better lifestyle and health habits as well as assist in healthcare related activities (scheduling doctor’s appointments, etc…).  For example, a 2014 NCHS report found that among men with health insurance, those who were married were more likely than their unmarried counterparts (including those who were cohabiting) to seek preventive health services.


Q: Was this the first time you studied this topic?

SC: NCHS publishes age-adjusted death rates by marital status every year in their final death report.  However, this is the first specialized report on this topic in almost 50 years.


Q: Was there anything in the findings that were surprising?

SC: I think it was the fact that even though age-adjusted death rates are much lower for married adults, these rates declined 7% between 2010 and 2017.  This was the greatest decline of all groups–rates for never married persons declined by 2%, rates for divorced persons remained stable, and rates for widowed persons actually increased, by 6%.


Q: The patterns seem pretty consistent among men and women.  Was there anything that you found between the genders that was inconsistent?

SC: Both men and women had 7% declines in the age-adjusted death rate for married persons.  However, for men, the other groups remained relatively stable from 2010 to 2017.  For women, those who were divorced had stable death rates but never-married women had a decline of 3% while widowed women had a 6% increase.


Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

SC:  Just that the next step is to look at these findings by selected causes of death to determine whether the lower death rates for married adults are broad across most of the leading causes or contained to a few specific causes.


Percentage of Adults Aged 65 and Over With Osteoporosis or Low Bone Mass at the Femur Neck or Lumbar Spine: United States, 2005–2010

August 18, 2015

A new NCHS Health E-Stat provides information on the percentage of U.S. adults aged 65 and over with osteoporosis and low bone mass at the femur neck or lumbar spine, using data from the 2005–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Key Findings from the Report:

During 2005–2010, 16.2% of adults aged 65 and over had osteoporosis at the lumbar spine or femur neck. The age-adjusted prevalence of osteoporosis at either skeletal site was higher among women (24.8%) than men (5.6%).

The unadjusted prevalence was higher among adults aged 80 and over (25.7%) than for adults aged 65–79 (12.8%).

The age-adjusted prevalence of osteoporosis was highest among Mexican-American adults (24.9%), followed by non-Hispanic white adults (15.7%), and was lowest among non-Hispanic black adults (10.3%).


Obesity information-it starts with the letters NHANES

August 5, 2009

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released information concerning the prevalence and costs of the growing epidemic of obesity in the United States. Some of the most critical information concerning the weight of the nation is collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which takes actual measurements of a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population.

For the most recent information on obesity and overweight, please visit the Health E-Stat report at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/overweight/overweight_adult.htm.

For a more general overview, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm.

As always, the NCHS press office can be reached at 301-458-4800.


Poisoning and Methadone-Related Deaths: U.S, 1999-2005

February 21, 2008

Did you know that  poisoning was the second leading cause of injury death in the United States in 2005? This surpasses firearms injury death for the first time in 2004. The majority of poisoning deaths are due to unintentional drug overdoses.

Narcotic-related deaths have played the largest role in the increase of all poisoning deaths from 1999 to 2005 (the years for which data are available). They are responsible for 56 percent of all poisoning deaths in 2005, increasing from 50 percent in 1999. Their absolute numbers increased 84 percent  over the 7 years period.

Methadone-related deaths have increased more than other Narcotic-related deaths. You can read more about Methadone-related Deaths here…