iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

Recent data about the US population from the CDC

  • POPULATION: The U.S. population grew from 216.0 million to 321.4 million between 1975 and 2015.
    • The number of Americans aged 65 and over increased from 22.6 million to 47.8 million during 1975–2015.
    • In 1980, 20.1% of the population identified as racial or ethnic minorities; by 2015, 38.4% of the population identified as racial or ethnic minorities.
    • During 1975–2015, children under 18 were more likely to live in poverty than adults aged 18-64, and adults 65 and over.
    • The rural (nonmetropolitan) share of the population declined between 1970 and 2015, while the suburban share of the population increased.
  • LIFE EXPECTANCY: Between 1975 and 2015, life expectancy increased by 6.2 years for the total population and increased for males and females.
  • INFANT MORTALITY: The infant mortality rate decreased 63%, from 16.07 to 5.90 deaths per 1,000 live births between 1975 and 2015.
  • CAUSES OF DEATH: Heart disease and cancer were the top two causes of death in the U.S. throughout the past 4 decades.
  • CIGARETTE SMOKING: Between 1974 and 2015, the age-adjusted prevalence of current cigarette smoking among persons aged 25 and over decreased from 36.9% to 15.6%. In 2015, men and women aged 25 and over with no high school diploma were more than four times as likely to smoke as those with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • OBESITY: The age-adjusted percentage of adults aged 20 and over with obesity increased steadily from 22.9% in 1988–1994 to 37.8% in 2013–2014.
  • PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: For all adult age groups, the percentage taking one or more prescription drug in the past month increased between 1988–1994 and 2013–2014. Among adults aged 65 and over, use of five or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days increased from 13.8% to 42.2% in same time period.
  • HEALTH INSURANCE: Between 1978 and September 2016 (preliminary data), the percentage of children under age 18 who were uninsured decreased from 12.0% to 5.0%; the percentage with Medicaid coverage increased from 11.3% to 39.2%; and the percentage with private coverage decreased from 75.1% to 53.5%.

Health, United States 2016” with “Chartbook on Long-term Trends in Health” is available on the NCHS web site at:

2.7% of US Adults Achieve All Four Healthy Behaviors

Researchers from Oregon State University and the University of Mississippi recently conducted a study on four healthy lifestyle behaviors (good diet, moderate exercise, recommended body fat percentage, non-smoking) in U.S. adults. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • 2.7% of all adults had all four healthy lifestyle characteristics, while 16% had three.
  • 37% had two, 34% had one, and 11% had none of the healthy lifestyle characteristics.
  • Mexican American adults were more likely to eat a healthy diet than non-Hispanic white or black adults.
  • Women were more likely to not smoke and eat a healthy diet, but less likely to be sufficiently active.
  • 1 in 10 had a normal body fat percentage and 46% were sufficiently active.
  • 71% adults did not smoke and 38% ate a healthy diet.

Source: Oregon State University, March 21, 2016

Imagine what could have been in heart disease, if not for diabetes and obesity

Seniors are having fewer heart attacks, data showA Yale University study showed stable hospitalization rates for heart attacks among young and middle-aged adults from 2001 to 2010, while heart attack rates for Medicare-age adults dropped by more than 20%. The study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found women ages 30 to 54 who were hospitalized for a heart attack had a higher risk of poorer outcomes than men, and lead author Aakriti Gupta, M.D., suggested primary prevention resources should be redirected toward young women. HealthDay News (7/21)

In addition, the study points out, “Obesity and diabetes among younger adults appear to be overwhelming the improvements in treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol that have helped older Americans reduce their heart attack risk.”

What if people did the basic ‘blocking and tackling’ in health care we know how to do?

Lower diabetes, heart
risk seen with modest weight loss

Middle-aged women who
maintained a weight loss of 10% or more over two years attained significant
declines in total cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, and glucose and
inflammation markers, reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease and
diabetes, a study indicated. The results were published in the Journal of the
American Heart Association. (12/30)

High Blood Pressure, Diet and Weight are All Related

Study shows greater hypertension risk among U.S. children

A study in the journal Hypertension revealed that the risk for high
blood pressure in U.S. children aged 8 to 17 increased 27% over a 13-year
period. Researchers also found children with bigger waist sizes were twice as
likely as their slimmer counterparts to have hypertension, while black children
had a 28% greater risk of high blood pressure compared with whites. Children
who had the highest salt consumption were also 36% more likely than those who
had the lowest intake to have hypertension, researchers said. HealthDay News (7/15)

When perception affects reality

According to a recent survey, 53% of the 87% of consumers who say their health is good, actually report height and weight that categorize them as overweight or obese according to their body mass index (BMI).

Source: “New
Survey Reveals Employer Health Strategies That Are Helping Workers Improve
their Health and Wellness,” Aon Hewitt Press Release,

January 9, 2013,

March 26, 2013 | Categories: Chronic conditions,healthcare,obesity | Tags: , , | Comments (0)

Moving to fee for care

Better outcomes seen with primary care-based diabetes program
Obese patients with metabolic syndrome, prediabetes or both who underwent diabetes prevention initiatives delivered in a primary care setting attained significant reductions in body weight compared with those who had usual care, a study showed. Improvements in waist circumference and fasting plasma glucose were also noted in the intervention groups, researchers wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine. (12/10)

Increase your activity — can you hear me now?

Studies: Being physically active improves brain health
Walking for 30 to 45 minutes three times a week for a year can increase the size of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, brain areas that are key in memory, in people ages 60 to 80 without Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. Another study found that resistance training can enhance the mental skills and memory of women ages 70 to 80 who suffer from mild cognitive impairment. WebMD (7/16)

and if that weren’t enough to make you think about getting up …

Sedentary lifestyle is linked to mortality and disease, studies show
About 5 million people died in 2008 from diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle, and about 1.5 billion people worldwide do not get recommended amounts of physical activity, according to studies in The Lancet. Inactivity is a risk factor comparable to smoking or obesity, researchers said, and is estimated to cause 10% of colon and breast cancers, 7% of type 2 diabetes cases and 6% of heart disease cases. More than 500,000 lives could be saved each year if inactivity was reduced by 10%, researchers said. Yahoo!/Agence France-Presse (7/17)

Cause or effect: high blood pressure, diabetetes and or obesity are a dangerous combination

Obesity alone does not raise mortality risk, study finds
A study in The Journal of American Board of Family Medicine found excess body weight was not associated with increased mortality risk in obese adults aged 18 to 90. However, severely obese participants with diabetes or hypertension were 1.26 times more likely to die than their normal-weight counterparts, University of California, Davis, researchers said. International Business Times (7/8), Daily News (New York)/Indo-Asian News Service (7/8)

Once again, it is all about education

CDC report connects health to education, income
Highly educated people with more income were less likely to have chronic diseases and had greater life expectancy than those with less income and education, according to a report released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. From 2007 to 2010, obesity rates were lower among children and teens ages 2 to 19 in homes where the head of the household had at least a bachelor’s degree. Women age 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher were less likely to be obese, but the obesity rate did not correlate consistently with education among men. blog (5/16), United Press International (5/16)

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