NCHS Releases Report on Drug Overdose Deaths

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released a report on “Trends in Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Opioid Analgesics and Heroin: United States, 1999–2012,” based on data from the National Vital Statistics System’s multiple-causes-of-death mortality files. The report shows that between 1999 and 2012, the drug overdose (or drug poisoning) death rate more than doubled. The rate of death in evolving heroin nearly tripled. And while the drug poisoning rate involving opioid analgesics more than tripled over this period, it did decrease by five percent between 2011 and 2012—the first decrease in more than a decade. The states with the highest…

NCHS Brief Looks at Depression and Obesity

A new data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) examines the relationship between obesity and depression. It found that 43 percent of adults with depression were obese and that adults with depression were more likely to be obese, particularly women. In addition, as the severity of depression symptoms increased, so did the proportion of those with obesity. And over half of people whose symptoms were not relieved by medication were obese. The report observes, “It is not clear whether depression or obesity occurred first because they were both measured at the same time. Other studies have shown…

NCHS and Census Release Data on Health Insurance Coverage

New statistics released by the federal government last week provide insight into the number of Americans without insurance in 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 (after the insurance coverage expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had gone into effect). The Census Bureau published Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013, based on data from the 2014 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC), which found that 42 million people, 13.4 percent of Americans, had no health insurance for the entirety of 2013.

Census, NCHS Hold Joint Technical Meeting Ahead of Release of Insurance Coverage Data

On September 16, the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) will release the first federal statistics on health insurance coverage during the period after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The agencies held a technical meeting on August 18 to go over what will be released later this month and provide background on the methods used in the respective household surveys. Census Bureau Director John Thompson and NCHS Director Charles Rothwell introduced the meeting. A webcast is available here. Two sources of data will be used together to assess the impact of the ACA…

COSSA Analysis of FY 2015 Senate Labor-HHS Bill

On July 24, the Senate Appropriations Committee released bill language and the accompanying Committee report for the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill. The Labor-HHS Subcommittee approved the bill via voice vote in June (see Update, June 12, 2014). It is still unclear when or if the measure will be considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee. Instead, it is all but certain that Congress will enact a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to allow time to complete the FY 2015 appropriations process after the November elections. You can read…

NCHS Releases Data on Weight Misperception in Children, Sexual Orientation-Based Health Disparities

A recent National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief looks at children’s (8-15 years old) misperception of their weight status. When asked if they felt they were too thin, overweight, or about right, 30 percent of children’s responses did not match their weight status. This misperception was more common among boys (32.2 percent) than girls (28 percent). Seventy-six percent of overweight children and 41.9 percent of obese children described themselves as “about right.” Nearly half (48.5 percent) of underweight children also described themselves as “about right.” More than 12 percent of healthy weight children (over 2 million) believed themselves…


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