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CDC: 35th Report on the Health of the Nation Published

Special feature on socioeconomic status and health shows education is key to improving health

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- The 35th report on the health status of the United States in 2011 has been published online May 16 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Researchers from the NCHS in Hyattsville, Md., compiled data on national trends in health statistics, including a special feature on socioeconomic status and health.

The authors report that, between 2000 and 2009, life expectancy at birth increased for males and females, and infant mortality decreased during the same period. Heart disease and cancer death rates decreased, while drug poisoning death increased. From 1988-1994 to 2009-2010, the prevalence of obesity among preschool and school-age children increased, and there was an increase in grades 1, 2, and 3 obesity among adults. More than half of adults failed to meet physical activity federal guidelines. From 2009 to 2010, there was a decrease in current smokers (from 21 to 19 percent). The percentage of women aged 40 and older undergoing mammography remained stable from 2000 to 2010, while there was an increase in the percentage of adults aged 50 to 75 who had a recent colorectal test or procedure. In a special feature on socioeconomic status and health, from 2007 to 2010, higher levels of education among the head of the household were found to correlate with lower rates of childhood obesity. Higher levels of education also correlated with lower rates of obesity among women, lower levels of smoking, and increased life expectancy.

"The Health, United States series presents an annual look at national trends in health statistics," the authors write.

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