Nearly 7 out of 10 women aged 50 years and over say they've had a mammogram in
the past two years, according to new data released today in the latest
comprehensive report on the nation's health.
According to the report, AHealth, United States: 2000,@ released by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health
Statistics (CDC/NCHS), 69 percent of women ages 50 and over reported recent
mammography in 1998, up from 61 percent in 1994, and more than two-and-a-half
times the total from 1987 (27 percent).
"This is positive news. We've come a long way in educating women about the
importance of early detection as a vital prevention tool in battling breast
cancer," said HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala. "And with our expanded Medicare
coverage for annual mammograms, we're hoping to see this upward trend
Substantial increases in mammography screening occurred for poor women as well
as for women with family incomes at or above the federal poverty level.
However poor women were less likely to receive screening than women at higher
income levels. Among women living below the poverty threshold in 1998, 53
percent reported recent mammography screening compared with 72 percent of
women at or above poverty.
HHS programs are working to address this need. CDC's National Breast and
Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides mammography screening
services to underserved women.
Meanwhile, age-adjusted death rates from breast cancer for women fell to 19
deaths per 100,000 in 1998, down from 23 in 1990.
Disparities in health care
Other findings in the report point out disparities in the use of health care:
.Nearly one-half of adults living in poverty compared with one in five
non-poor adults had an untreated dental cavity in 1988-94.
.Children living in poverty were 50 percent more likely than non-poor children
to have a recent emergency department visit in 1998.
.More than one-quarter of children without health insurance coverage had no
usual source of health care in 1997, compared with 4 percent of children with
.Uninsured children were nearly three times as likely as those with health
insurance to be without a recent doctor's visit in 1997.
.In 1998, three-quarters of children under 18 years of age had a dental visit
in the past year, although Hispanic and non-Hispanic black children were less
likely than non-Hispanic white children to have a recent visit.
Other findings on health status
.The report also contains many other new findings related to health status:
.In 1998, more than three out of five American adults consumed alcoholic
beverages. About one out of five were lifetime abstainers, with women about
twice as likely as men to be lifetime abstainers (29 percent and 15 percent,
.Cigarette smoking by adults has remained stable at about 25 percent since
1990. During 1997, more American Indian and non-Hispanic black men (38
percent and 32 percent, respectively) smoked cigarettes than other men.
In addition to reporting on the health status and use of health care for the
total population, this year's report features a special chart book on
adolescent health, which documents increasing risks as children advance from
age 10 to 19 years of age. For example, those in the late teenage years are
more likely than pre-teens or younger teenagers to die from a motor vehicle or
firearm injury; to visit the emergency department with an illness or injury;
to smoke, binge drink or use marijuana.
"This chartbook gauges the extent of many of the health problems facing young
people." said CDC Director Jeffrey P. Koplan, MD, MPH. "We all know that
adolescence is a challenging time for teens and for their families. We need
this information to help our youngsters move through adolescence to become
Other findings from the chartbook show that:
· Death rates for motor vehicle traffic injuries, the leading cause of injury
deaths for adolescents, increased markedly with age, doubling between ages 15
and 16 years.
· 9th graders are more likely than high school seniors to participate in
vigorous physical activity.
· Sexual activity increases with age through the teen years as does the
likelihood of sexually transmitted disease.
"Health, United States: 2000" can be downloaded directly from the CDC/NCHS Web
site at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs. For more information about free mammography
screening through CDC's program, visit the Web site at