The Centers for Disease Control recently released its annual state of the union’s health. The federally mandated report serves as a benchmark for the current physical condition of the nation compared to past decades, as well as spending habits and access to health care.
Here are selected highlights from the report, according to WebMD (you can find more on their website):
- We are living longer. Since 1980, men’s life expectancy rose from 70 to 76, while women’s increased from 77 to 81.
- Heart disease remains the most common killer for both men and women. It causes about one-quarter of all deaths each year. But over the past 10 years, the number of heart disease deaths has dropped by 32%.
- Deaths caused by stroke dropped by about a third for both men and women. Cancer deaths are also down – by 15% for men and 11% for women.
- Nearly half of all adults with high blood pressure don’t have it under control, though this percentage has gone down significantly since the early 1990s. The number of adults with high cholesterol also dropped during this period.
- Since 1994, obesity has gone up among all age groups. Nearly 20% of school-age children are now obese, while one-fifth of adults over 20 now have a BMI greater than 30 (which is considered obese).
- Childhood obesity rates go down as parent education goes up: Nearly a quarter of children whose parents have less than a high school education were obese, which is two to three times more than kids whose parents (or heads of household) had finished college.
- Americans visited a health care provider 1.3 billion times in 2009. That same year, $2.5 trillion dollars was spent on health care. That works out to average of $8,000 per person. Nearly a third of the money was spent on hospitals.
Prescription drug costs went up more than 5% between 2008 and 2009 for a total of $249.9 billion, more than double what we spent in 2000.
- Private health insurance covered a third of personal health care expenses in 2009. Consumers covered 14% out of pocket. The rest was paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and others. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) cost less than 1% of the total of all health care costs. Along with Medicaid, CHIP insures 54% of children, up from 28% in 2000.