QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged 25 Years or Older Who Had Seen a Health Care Professional in the Past 12 Months and Who Easily Understood Information from Their Health Care Providers Most or All of the Time by Sex and Education Level

November 15, 2019

In 2017, 91.6% of adults aged 25 years or older easily understood information from their health care providers most or all of the time.

The percentage of adults who easily understood health care information most or all of the time increased as education level increased.

Adults who had completed a bachelor’s degree or higher were the most likely to understand their health care providers at least most of the time (93.9%), whereas those without a high school diploma were the least likely (85.2%).

Men (91.0%) were somewhat less likely than women (92.1%) to have easily understood information from providers most or all of the time.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.


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.

New Infographic Featuring Data on Medical Care Access, Flu Vaccination and Dentists

May 1, 2017

The fourth Health, United States Spotlight from the National Center for Health Statistics is now available online. This infographic features data on medical care access, supply of dentists, and flu vaccination coverage.

The Health, United States Spotlight is released throughout the year and features indicators available in Health, United States—an annual report on the nation’s health submitted by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to the President and Congress. Each infographic provides up-to-date estimates, technical notes, description of trends, and data highlights in a visual format.

For more information on past and present infographics, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/hus_infographic.htm.

State by State Health Data Source Updated on NCHS Web Site

April 19, 2017

CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has updated its Stats of the States feature on the NCHS web site.  This resource features the latest state-by-state comparisons on key health indicators ranging from birth topics such as teen births and cesarean deliveries to leading causes of death and health insurance coverage.

Tabs have been added to the color-coded maps to compare trends on these topics between the most recent years (2015 and 2014) and going back a decade (2005) and in some cases further back.

To access the main “Stats of the States” page, use the following link:


Health of Hispanic Adults: United States, 2010–2014

June 17, 2016

There are 54 million Hispanic persons living in the United States, making them the largest minority group in the country. Disaggregated data on Hispanic subgroups are needed to understand the health of Hispanic persons of diverse backgrounds.

A new NCHS report presents selected estimates of health measures for all Hispanic adults aged 18 and over and for the following four Hispanic subgroups: Central or South American, Cuban, Mexican, and Puerto Rican adults. Comparisons are also made across the subgroups and with the non-Hispanic U.S. adult population as a whole.


  • Overall, Puerto Rican adults consistently reported poorer health status than non-Hispanic adults.
  • Puerto Rican (19.2%) and Mexican (17.4%) adults were more likely than Central or South American (12.3%) and Cuban (14.7%) adults to be in fair or poor health.
  • Puerto Rican adults (27.3%) were more likely than Central or South American adults (16.6%) to have had multiple chronic conditions.
  • Puerto Rican adults (6.2%) were nearly twice as likely to report serious psychological distress in the past 30 days compared with Central or South American adults (3.3%).
  • Puerto Rican adults (11.4%) were more likely than Central or South American (2.9%), Cuban (3.9%), and Mexican (4.8%) adults to be unable to work due to health problems.

Access and Utilization of Selected Preventive Health Services Among Adolescents Aged 10–17

May 11, 2016

Adolescence is a critical period for health promotion, disease prevention, and the development of healthy habits.

Regular preventive health care visits during this period are recommended to promote health and quality of life.

An NCHS report examines recent trends and demographic differences in the percentages of adolescents with a usual place for preventive care; those who had a well-child checkup in the past 12 months; and those who had a dental visit in the past 12 months.


  • The percentages of adolescents aged 10–17 who did not have a usual place for preventive care, did not receive a well-child checkup in the past 12 months, or did not have a dental visit in the past 12 months decreased from 2008 to 2014.
  • In 2014, 2% of adolescents aged 10–17 did not have a usual place for preventive care, 21% did not receive a well-child checkup, and 12% did not have a dental visit in the past 12 months.
  • In 2014, the percentages of adolescents not having a usual place for preventive care, not receiving a well-child checkup, and not having a dental visit were higher for those aged 16–17 compared with those in younger age groups. These percentages also varied by race and ethnicity, poverty status, and insurance status.

Nut Consumption Among U.S. Youth, 2009–2012

March 14, 2016

Nut consumption has been associated with improved weight status, nutrient intake, and diet quality among youth. However, allergies to nuts among children may be increasing, which may lead to higher vigilance over nut exposure in schools and other public settings.

An NCHS report examines the percentage of youth consuming nuts, including seeds and nut butters, on a given day. In addition, the source of nuts consumed is examined (i.e., the percentages of nuts consumed as a single-item food and as part of other foods).


  • During 2009–2012, 32.4% of youth consumed nuts (including seeds and nut butters) on a given day.
    A higher percentage of non-Hispanic white youth (37.6%) than non-Hispanic black (24.3%) or Hispanic (25.0%) youth consumed nuts.
  • Almost 44.0% of youth in households at or above 350% of the poverty level consumed nuts, compared with 25.4% of youth in households below 130% of the poverty level.
  • Slightly less than 40% of nuts were consumed as a single-item food and not as an ingredient in candy, breads, cakes, cookies, cereals, or other dishes.