The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its annual report on the health of the United States. The document contains more than 150 charts and graphs showing fluctuations in such areas as new births, causes of death, obesity in youth, and emergency room visits. The following are just a few of the highlights we found relevant.
Sloping activity levels: In 2021, less than half of American adults were meeting the government’s recommended daily physical activity levels, with only 30 percent of individuals over the age of 75 meeting the requirements.
Obesity is on the rise: It’s no surprise, but obesity rates have continued to rise. Numbers for those 20 years and older have jumped from 33.9 percent to 35.9 percent between 2021 and 2021.
Obesity among children: Perhaps one of the most alarming findings of all was concerning risk factors for obesity among children. The report stated “Excess body weight in children is associated with excess morbidity in childhood and adulthood.” The number of obese children between the ages of 2-5 years rose from 7 percent between 1988 and 1994, to 10 percent in 1999 and 2000; and is now at almost 13 percent.
The number of obese children between the years of 6-11 years has declined slightly, but is still just below 18 percent. And the number of obese children between age 12-19 has risen to nearly 19 percent.
Not unrelated to obesity rates is the increased rates in prescription drug use – the most common of which include cholesterol and high blood pressure medicine, asthma medicines, and antidepressants. In 2021 the U.S. population spent an alarming $250 billion on prescription drugs. Between approximately 1994 and 2021, the use of three or more prescriptions drugs increased for males and females of all ages, and use for those 65 and older has reached almost 65 percent.
Young people’s positive changes: According to the report, of those 18 and older 19.3 percent are smoking, down from 20.6 in 2021. And 20.4 percent are getting aerobic activity and muscle strengthening, up from 18.8 percent in 2021.
Uninsured continue to rise: Of those between ages 18 -44, 27.1 percent are without insurance compared to 25.9 percent in 2021.
Physicians available to the population: In the U.S. as a whole, in 2021 there were 25 physicians per 10,000 people. Mississippi was lacking the most with only 17 per 10,000, and Massachusetts had the best showings with 39.6 per 10,000.
Causes of Death: Among males, stroke saw a decline of 33 percent, cancer a decline of 15 percent, and heart disease a decline of 32 percent. Among females, deaths caused by heart disease declined 32 percent, stroke declined 31 percent and cancer declined 11 percent. But overall, heart disease is still the number one killer in both men and women.
Teenage Birth Rates are down: Between 1998 and 2021, birth rates for teenagers between ages 15-17 declined by 27 percent, and for those between ages 18-19, declined 13 percent.
View the entire report on the CDC website for more details.
photo from CDC website