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Martin J.A.,National Center for Health Statistics
MMWR. Surveillance summaries : Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Surveillance summaries / CDC | Year: 2011

Preterm infants (those born at <37 completed weeks of gestation) are less likely to survive to their first birthday than infants delivered at higher gestational ages, and those who do survive, especially those born at the earlier end of the preterm spectrum, are more likely to suffer long-term disabilities than infants born at term. During 1981--2006, the U.S. preterm birth rate increased >30%, from 9.4% to 12.8% of all live births. Although lower during 2007 and 2008, the U.S. preterm birth rate remains higher than any year during 1981--2002.


Lubitz J.D.,National Center for Health Statistics
Health Services Research | Year: 2010

Objective. To update research on Medicare payments in the last year of life. Data Sources. Continuous Medicare History Sample, containing annual summaries of claims data on a 5 percent sample from 1978 to 2006. Study Design. Analyses were based on elderly beneficiaries in fee for service. For each year, Medicare payments were assigned either to decedents (persons in their last year) or to survivors (all others). Results. The share of Medicare payments going to persons in their last year of life declined slightly from 28.3 percent in 1978 to 25.1 percent in 2006. After adjustment for age, sex, and death rates, there was no significant trend. Conclusions. Despite changes in the delivery of medical care over the last generation, the share of Medicare expenditures going to beneficiaries in their last year has not changed substantially. © Health Research and Educational Trust.


Bernstein A.B.,National Center for Health Statistics
Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Surveillance summaries (Washington, D.C. : 2002) | Year: 2012

In the United States, data systems are created by the ongoing, systematic collection of health, demographic, and other information through federally funded national surveys, vital statistics, public and private administrative and claims data, regulatory data, and medical records data. Certain data systems are designed to support public health surveillance and have used well-defined protocols and standard analytic methods for assessing specific health outcomes, exposures, or other endpoints. However, other data systems have been designed for a different purpose but can be used by public health programs for surveillance. Several public health surveillance programs rely substantially on others' data systems. An example of data used for surveillance purposes but collected for another reason is vital statistics data. CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) purchases, aggregates, and disseminates vital statistics (birth and death rates) that are collected at the state level. These data are used to understand disease burden, monitor trends, and guide public health action. Administrative data also can be used for surveillance purposes (e.g., Medicare and Social Security Disability data that have been linked to survey data to monitor changes in health and health-care use over time).


Ogden C.L.,National Center for Health Statistics
National health statistics reports | Year: 2011

The high prevalence of obesity (defined by body mass index) among children and adolescents in the United States and elsewhere has prompted increased attention to body fat in childhood and adolescence. This report provides smoothed estimates of major percentiles of percentage body fat for boys and girls aged 8-19 years in the United States. Percentage body fat was obtained from whole-body, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans conducted during the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. A nonparametric double-kernel method was employed to smooth percentile curves for the DXA data. The pattern of body fat development differs between boys and girls aged 8-19 years. In most age groups, girls have a higher percentage of body fat than boys. Among boys, there is a drop in body fat percentage in early adolescence that is especially pronounced at the higher percentiles. Among girls this pattern is not seen; percentage body fat increases slightly with age. These results provide a smoothed reference distribution of percentage body fat for U.S. children and adolescents aged 8-19 years.


MacDorman M.F.,National Center for Health Statistics
National vital statistics reports : from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVES: This report examines trends and characteristics of out-of-hospital and home births in the United States. METHODS: Descriptive tabulations of data are presented and interpreted. RESULTS: In 2006, there were 38,568 out-of-hospital births in the United States, including 24,970 home births and 10,781 births occurring in a freestanding birthing center. After a gradual decline from 1990 to 2004, the percentage of out-of-hospital births increased by 3% from 0.87% in 2004 to 0.90% in 2005 and 2006. A similar pattern was found for home births. After a gradual decline from 1990 to 2004, the percentage of home births increased by 5% to 0.59% in 2005 and remained steady in 2006. Compared with the U.S. average, home birth rates were higher for non-Hispanic white women, married women, women aged 25 and over, and women with several previous children. Home births were less likely than hospital births to be preterm, low birthweight, or multiple deliveries. The percentage of home births was 74% higher in rural counties of less than 100,000 population than in counties with a population size of 100,000 or more. The percentage of home births also varied widely by state; in Vermont and Montana more than 2% of births in 2005-2006 were home births, compared with less than 0.2% in Louisiana and Nebraska. About 61% of home births were delivered by midwives. Among midwife-delivered home births, one-fourth (27%) were delivered by certified nurse midwives, and nearly three-fourths (73%) were delivered by other midwives. DISCUSSION: Women may choose home birth for a variety of reasons, including a desire for a low-intervention birth in a familiar environment surrounded by family and friends and cultural or religious concerns. Lack of transportation in rural areas and cost factors may also play a role.

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