Health Risk Factors

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Current Cigarette Smoking

Cigarette smoking among high school seniors declined by one-quarter among male students and one-half among female students between 2001 and 2011.

Smoking is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, lung and other types of cancers, and chronic lung diseases (3). Between 2001 and 2011, cigarette smoking among students in grade 12 decreased from 30% to 22% for male students and from 29% to 15% for female students. Also during this period, the percentage of adults who smoked cigarettes declined for men and women aged 18–44 and for women aged 45–64, while remaining stable for men aged 45–64 and for men and women aged 65 and over.

Figure 8 consists of two line graphs, one for males and one for females, showing current cigarette smoking among high school seniors and adults aged 18 and over, by age group, for 2001 through 2011.

Figure 8Current cigarette smoking among high school seniors and adults aged 18 and over, by sex and age: United States, 2001–2011

Excel and PowerPoint: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2012.htm#fig08

SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, Health, United States, 2012, Tables 54 and 59. Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Monitoring the Future (MTF) Study.

Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure

Although control of high blood pressure has improved since 1988–1994, nearly one-half of adults with hypertension had uncontrolled high blood pressure in 2007–2010.

Hypertension increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke (4). Between 1988–1994 and 2007–2010, the prevalence of uncontrolled high blood pressure (defined as an average systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher, or an average diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher, among those with hypertension) declined for all age groups of men and women. However, in 2007–2010, nearly one-half of adults with hypertension continued to have uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Figure 9 consists of two line graphs, one for men and one for women, showing uncontrolled high blood pressure among adults aged 20 and over for adults with hypertension, by age group, for three time periods: 1988 to 1994, 1999 to 2002, and 2007 to 2010.

Figure 9Uncontrolled high blood pressure among adults aged 20 and over for adults with hypertension, by sex and age: United States, 1988–1994, 1999–2002, and 2007–2010

Excel and PowerPoint: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2012.htm#fig09

SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, Health, United States, 2012, Table 64. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Obesity Among Children

In 2009–2010, almost one in five children older than 5 years was obese.

Excess body weight in children is associated with excess morbidity in childhood and adulthood (5). Obesity among children is defined as a body mass index at or above the sex- and age-specific 95th percentile. The percentage of children aged 2–5 who were obese rose from 7% in 1988–1994 to 10% in 1999–2000 and has not increased significantly since that time (6). The prevalence of obesity among 6–11 year olds increased from 11% in 1988–1994 to 15% in 1999–2000 and has not increased significantly since then. Among adolescents aged 12–19, the prevalence of obesity rose from 11% in 1988–1994 to 15% in 1999–2000 and has not increased significantly since that time.

Figure 10 is a line graph showing trends in obesity among children and adolescents, by age group, for 1988 to 1994 through 2009 to 2010.

Figure 10Obesity among children and adolescents, by age: United States, 1988–1994 through 2009–2010

Excel and PowerPoint: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2012.htm#fig10

SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, Health, United States, 2012, Table 63. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Overweight and Obesity Among Adults

In 2007–2010, 20% of adults had Grade 1 obesity, 9% had Grade 2 obesity, and 6% had Grade 3 obesity.

Excess body weight is correlated with excess morbidity and mortality (7,8). In particular, Grade 2 or higher obesity [a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher] significantly increases the risk of death (9). Between 1988–1994 and 2007–2010, the percentage of men and women who were overweight but not obese (BMI greater than or equal to 25 but less than 30) was stable, while the percentage with obesity increased. During this period, the percentage with Grade 1 obesity (BMI greater than or equal to 30 but less than 35) increased more for men than for women. The percentage with Grade 2 obesity (BMI greater than or equal to 35 but less than 40) and Grade 3 obesity (BMI of 40 or higher) also increased among men and women during this period.

Figure 11 consists of two area graphs, one for men and one for women, showing overweight but not obese, and grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 obesity, among adults aged 20 and over, for three time periods: 1988 to 1994, 1999 to 2002, and 2007 to 2010.

Figure 11Overweight and obesity among adults aged 20 and over, by sex: United States, 1988–1994, 1999–2002, and 2007–2010

Excel and PowerPoint: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2012.htm#fig11

SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, Health, United States, 2012, Table 68. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).