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National Center for Health Statistics (US) . Health, United States, 2006: With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2006 Nov.

Cover of Health, United States, 2006

Health, United States, 2006: With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans.

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Health, United States, 2006 is the 30th report on the health status of the Nation and is submitted by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to the President and Congress of the United States in compliance with Section 308 of the Public Health Service Act. This report was compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics served in a review capacity.

The Health, United States series presents national trends in health statistics. Each report includes an executive summary, highlights, a chartbook, trend tables, extensive appendixes, and an index.


The Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans updates and expands information from previous chartbooks and introduces this year's special feature on pain. Pain affects physical and mental functioning, affects quality of life, reduces productivity, and is a major reason for health care utilization. The chartbook assesses the Nation's health by presenting trends and current information on selected determinants and measures of health status and utilization of health care. Many measures are shown separately for persons of different ages because of the strong effect of age on health. Selected figures also highlight differences in determinants and measures of health status and utilization of health care by such characteristics as sex, race, Hispanic origin, education, and poverty status.

Trend Tables

The chartbook section is followed by 147 trend tables organized around four major subject areas: health status and determinants, health care utilization, health care resources, and health care expenditures. A major criterion used in selecting the trend tables is availability of comparable national data over a period of several years. The tables present data for selected years to highlight major trends in health statistics. Earlier editions of Health, United States may present data for additional years that are not included in the current printed report. Where possible, these additional years of data are available in Excel spreadsheet files on the Health, United States website. Tables with additional data years are listed in Appendix III.

Racial and Ethnic Data

Many tables in Health, United States present data according to race and Hispanic origin consistent with Department-wide emphasis on expanding racial and ethnic detail when presenting health data. Trend data on race and ethnicity are presented in the greatest detail possible after taking into account the quality of data, the amount of missing data, and the number of observations. Standards for classification of federal data on race and ethnicity are described in Appendix II, Race.

Education and Income Data

Many tables in Health, United States present data according to socioeconomic status, using education and poverty level as proxy measures. Education and income data are generally obtained directly from survey respondents, and are not generally available from records-based data collection systems including the National Health Care Survey (see Appendix I). State vital statistics systems currently report mother's education on the birth certificate and, based on information from an informant, decedent's education on the death certificate. See Appendix II, Education; Family income; Poverty.

Disability Data

Disability is a complex concept and can include presence of physical or mental impairments that limit a person's ability to perform an important activity, and use of or need for accommodations or interventions required to improve functioning. Information on disability in the U.S. population is critical to health planning and policy. Although some information is currently available from federal data collection systems, the information is limited by a lack of standard definitions and survey questions on disability. Several current initiatives are underway to coordinate and standardize measurement of disability across federal data systems. Until such standardized information is available, Health, United States includes the following disability-related information for the civilian noninstitutionalized population: prevalence of limitations of activity due to chronic conditions (Table 58), vision and hearing limitations for adults (Table 59), and limitations in Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) for the population age 65 and over (Table 58). In addition, disability-related information is provided for the nursing home population (Table 102), Medicare enrollees (Table 139), Medicaid recipients (Table 140), and veterans with service-connected disabilities (Table 142).

Changes in This Edition

Each volume of Health, United States is prepared to maximize its usefulness as a standard reference source while maintaining its continuing relevance. Comparability is fostered by including similar trend tables in each volume. Timeliness is maintained by (1) adding new tables each year to reflect emerging topics in public health and (2) improving the content of ongoing tables. Health, United States, 2006 includes five new trend tables on: the population in federal and state prisons and local jails (Table 2), based on data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics; joint pain (Table 57) and access to care problems due to cost (Table 78), based on the National Health Interview Survey; physician practice characteristics (Table 117), based on the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey; and health professionals' wages (Table 108), based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Health, United States, 2006 Chartbook section includes new charts on the population in group quarters (Figure 2), length of time without health insurance (Figure 7), binge drinking and marijuana use among high school students (Figure 11), untreated dental caries among children (Figure 14), percentage of the adult population with three or more chronic conditions (Figure 15), dental visits among children (Figure 19), influenza vaccination among adults (Figure 20), emergency department visits for falls (Figure 21), and hospitalizations with bariatric procedures (Figure 23). The Special Feature includes 10 new charts on pain prevalence and associated health care treatment and costs (Figures 2837).


Appendix I describes each data source used in the report and provides references for further information about the sources. Data sources are listed alphabetically within two broad categories: (1) Government Sources and (2) Private and Global Sources.

Appendix II is an alphabetical listing of terms used in the report. It also presents standard populations used for age adjustment (Tables I, II, and III); ICD codes for causes of death shown in Health, United States from the Sixth through Tenth Revisions and the years when the Revisions were in effect (Tables IV and V); comparability ratios between ICD–9 and ICD–10 for selected causes (Table VI); ICD–9–CM codes for external cause-of-injury, diagnostic, and procedure categories (Tables VII, X, and XI); effects of adding probe questions for Medicare and Medicaid on health insurance rates in the National Health Interview Survey (Table VIII); industry codes according to the 2002 North American Industry Classification System (Table IX); National Drug Code (NDC) Therapeutic Class recodes of generic analgesic drugs (Table XII); and sample tabulations of NHIS data comparing the 1977 and 1997 Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (Tables XIII and XIV).

Appendix III lists tables for which additional years of trend data are available electronically in Excel spreadsheet files on the Health, United States website and CD-ROM, described below under Electronic Access.


The Index to Trend Tables and Chartbook Figures is a useful tool for locating data by topic. Tables are cross-referenced by such topics as Child and adolescent health; Elderly population age 65 years and over; Women's health; Men's health; state data; American Indian, Asian, Black, and Hispanic origin populations; Education; Injury; Disability; and Metropolitan and nonmetropolitan data.

Electronic Access

Health, United States may be accessed in its entirety on the World Wide Web at From the Health, United States website, one may also register for the Health, United States electronic mailing list to receive announcements about release dates and notices of updates to tables.

Health, United States, 2006, the chartbook, and each of the trend tables are available as Acrobat PDF files on the website. Chartbook figures are available as downloadable PowerPoint® slides. Trend tables and chartbook data tables are available as downloadable Excel spreadsheet files. Trend tables listed in Appendix III include additional years of data not shown in the printed report or .pdf files. Both PDF and spreadsheet files for selected tables will be updated on the website if more current data become available near the time when the printed report is released. Readers who register with the electronic mailing list will be notified of these table updates. Previous editions of Health, United States and chartbooks, starting with the 1993 edition, also may be accessed from the Health, United States website.

Health, United States is also available on CD-ROM, where it can be viewed, searched, printed, and saved using Adobe Acrobat software on the CD-ROM.

Copies of the Report

Copies of Health, United States, 2006, and the CD-ROM can be purchased from the Government Printing Office (GPO) through links to GPO on the National Center for Health Statistics website, Publications and Information Products page.


For answers to questions about this report, contact:

Office of Information Services

Information Dissemination Staff

National Center for Health Statistics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

3311 Toledo Road, Fifth Floor

Hyattsville, MD 20782

Phone: 301-458-INFO or toll free 866-441-NCHS

E-mail: vog.cdc@yreuqshcn



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