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

CDC: Smoking Rate Dropped From 20.9% (2005) To 17.8% (2013)

According to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR):

  • The number of cigarette smokers dropped from 45.1 million in 2005 to 42.1 million in 2013.
  • Those who smoke every day decreased from 80.8% in 2005 to 76.9% in 2013.
  • Cigarette smokers who smoke only on some days increased from 19.2% in 2005 to 23.1% in 2013.
  • The average number of cigarettes smoked by daily smokers declined from 16.7 in 2005 to 14.2 in 2013.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Basic prevention strategies improve public health

Heart group lists 43 strategies to improve public health
Incentives to make healthy food affordable, smoking bans or tobacco taxes and limiting advertising of unhealthy foods to children are among the 43 proven strategies to improve public health, the American Heart Association said in a statement in its journal Circulation. Researchers reviewed more than 1,000 studies and also recommended locating grocery stores closer to where people live and providing walkable neighborhoods and easier access to recreation. HealthDay News (8/21)

Nearly 50 years after the Surgeon General’s report smoking is still commonplace

Is this simply a co – relation, rather than a correlation? Does it have to do with education, income or some other variable?

According to a recent survey of American adults, 20% of the insured reported smoking compared with 36% of the uninsured.

Source: “In the U.S., Health Insurance Linked to Better Health Habits,” Gallup Press Release, December 30, 2011,

Gestational diabetes raises heart risk later in life as does smoking and high blood pressure

Women with gestational diabetes have a 50% greater risk of cardiovascular events even years following their pregnancies, and the risk doubles for women who are overweight. A large Swedish study with controls found that gestational diabetes was not as strong a risk factor for later cardiovascular disease as smoking or hypertension during pregnancy. The findings were presented at the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. (9/14)

More evidence that life style choices affect long term health

Modifiable Risk Factors Contributing to Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Physical inactivity (21% of U.S. cases potentially attributable to this factor)
  • Depression (15% of U.S. cases potentially attributable to this factor)
  • Smoking (11% of U.S. cases potentially attributable to this factor)
  • Mid-life hypertension (8% of U.S. cases potentially attributable to this factor)
  • Mid-life obesity (7% of U.S. cases potentially attributable to this factor)
  • Low education (7% of U.S. cases potentially attributable to this factor)
  • Diabetes (3% of U.S. cases potentially attributable to this factor)

Source: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2011/Alzheimer’s Association Press Release, July 19, 2011

Understanding and positively impacting health risk factors is critical


Risk factor prevalence rates for employed, insured adults ages 18 to 64 are factors in determining the U.S. Workforce Wellness Index. Of the six risk factors tracked-BMI, blood pressure, total cholesterol, blood glucose, tobacco use, and alcohol use-four showed reduced prevalence between 2005 and 2009, but prevalence of BMI and glucose actually increased to nearly 28% and 7% of the population, respectively.

  2005 2009
BMI 22.3% 27.9%
Blood Pressure 16.8% 15.6%
Cholesterol 15.2% 14.2%
Glucose 5.2% 6.6%
Tobacco 18.1% 16.7%
Alcohol 6.2% 5.8%

Source: Thomson Reuters, 2009

Publication: HealthLeaders Media, May 2011

U.S. Government Sets New Health Goals for 2020

THURSDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) — As 2010 winds down, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced its next set of 10-year goals for improving the nation’s health, including making dents in rates of obesity, smoking and deaths from cancer and heart disease.

“The reason for Healthy People is to try to move the nation to better health,” said Carter Blakey, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary at HHS’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

With that in mind, some of the new goals for 2020 are:

  • Reducing obesity 10 percent.
  • Cutting the number of smokers by 21 percent.
  • Cutting deaths from heart attack 20 percent.
  • Cutting cancer deaths 10 percent.

For more information on 2020 goals, visit

Heavy smoking in midlife doubles Alzheimer’s disease, dementia risk

According to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, heavy smoking in midlife is associated with a 157 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and a 172 percent increased risk of developing vascular dementia.

Researchers followed an ethnically diverse population of 21,123 men and women from midlife onward for an average of 23 years. Compared with non-smokers, those who had smoked more than two packs of cigarettes a day had more than a 157 percent increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and 172 percent increased risk of vascular dementia during the mean follow-up period of 23 years. Vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, is a group of dementia syndromes caused by conditions affecting the blood supply to the brain.

Source: PRNewswire, October 25, 2010.

November 2, 2010 | Categories: Chronic conditions,healthcare | Tags: , | Comments (0)
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