The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention release their life expectancy tables every 10 years. The data reveals which state’s residents live the longest and whether or not the average has improved or decreased over the past decade. According to the CDC’s most recent results, all 50 states and the District of Columbia saw life expectancy at birth improve from 1989-1991 to 1999-2001. But despite the gains, there is still a nearly seven year difference between the state with the longest living residents and those at the bottom of the list. For example, Hawaii was the state whose residents enjoyed the longest life expectancy. Hawaiians live to an average of 80.2 years old. On the other hand, Mississippi’s life expectancy was just 73.9. The District of Columbia had the worst life expectancy at 73.1 years, though it also experienced the largest improvement since the last report. More here.
A study from researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Health found that deaths from heart attack and stroke fell 40 percent among diabetics between 1997 and 2006. The research, which compared 3-year death rates for Americans 18 years and older with and without diabetes, also revealed that deaths from all causes fell 23 percent during the same time period. Despite the encouraging results, people with diabetes are still twice as likely to die from heart attack and stroke than people without diabetes. The CDC recommends following a healthy meal plan, getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week, and losing weight if needed to help manage diabetes and prevent cardiovascular disease. More here and here.
According to a recent survey of 52,000 people conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three Americans was in a family experiencing financial struggles due to medical expenses. One in five people were in a family having trouble paying medical bills and one in 10 was in a family that had medical bills they were unable to pay at all. The survey was the most comprehensive study conducted by the CDC on the issue and may be the largest of its kind. But though the results portray a large portion of the nation struggling with medical bills, experts warn that the statistics may be skewed by the fact that many Americans have been cutting back on health and medical spending. Among people over the age of 65, low-income Americans were more than three times as likely to be in a family that had problems paying for medical care over the past year. More here.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Americans’ average life expectancy rose one month between 2009 and 2010. Life expectancy in 2009 was 78.6 years and increased to 78.7 years by 2010. At the same time, the death rate dropped to its lowest level ever, with 2,465,935 people dying in the U.S. in 2010 or 746.2 deaths per 100,000 people. Among causes of death, cancer and heart disease still top the list. In 2010, they accounted for nearly 50 percent of all deaths followed by stroke, accidents, and chronic lung disease. The data, based on 98 percent of death certificates in America, found an increase in deaths due to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, kidney and liver disease. More here.
There is ample evidence that getting regular exercise can improve mood and memory, lower the risk of developing diabetes or heart disease, and slow age-related deterioration of muscles, bones, and joints. Still, recent surveys show Americans aren’t exercising enough, if at all. A 2008 survey from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention found 25 percent of participants said they did not spend any of their free time exercising. Sports physiologist Michael R. Bracko told HealthDay that the number one reason people don’t exercise is a perceived lack of time. Bracko suggests making exercise a priority and breaking it up into 10 or 15 minute intervals throughout the day. The CDC suggests adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week. More here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 235,000 people over the age of 15 suffer nonfatal bathroom injuries each year and the injury rate increases with age. According to the report, falls were the most common cause of injury and the head or neck was the primary part of the body injured. Among bathroom injuries, most occurred in or around the bathtub, though the percentage of injuries that happened near or on the toilet was highest among persons over the age of 85. Judy A. Stevens, lead author of the report, said injuries getting on and off the toilet are quite high in people 65 and older and having grab bars by the toilet would be helpful. The precipitating event in 37 percent of injuries was bathing, showering or getting out of the tub. Standing up from, sitting down on, or using the toilet was the cause of 14 percent of injuries. More here and here.
According to research from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State, caregivers and the relatives they care for have very different perceptions of the amount and quality of the care being given. Steven Zarit, lead author of the study, said family caregivers and their relatives often don’t understand each other well when it comes to what they value about giving and receiving care. The researchers interviewed 266 pairs of caregivers and the relatives they care for and asked how much they value autonomy, burden, control, family, and safety. The results found that adult children underestimate the importance their relative places on each of those five core values, Zarit said. More here.