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The Good Health Magazine : FACTS AND FIGURES

October 08, 1989| Complied by Harry Nelson. Nelson, retired Times medical writer, is now a free-lance writer in Woodland Hills

Almost as many Americans die of cardiovascular disease (978,500) as from all other causes of death.

Cardiovascular disease death rates declined 28% between 1970 and 1984.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death among females.

The human heart beats about 100,000 times a day and pumps close to 2,000 gallons of blood.

For every dollar spent on medical research $13 are saved in health-care costs and productivity.

Health-care costs rose 9.8% in the U.S. in 1988 to $500.3 billion.

Private health insurance coverage for mammography is mandated by 13 states (not California), Pap smears by nine.

More than 60% of women 40 and older have never had a mammogram for early detection of breast cancer. Almost 25% of women 18 and older have not had a Pap smear test for cervical cancer within the past three years.

An estimated 54% of U.S. women aged 15-44 use some form of birth control. An additional 35% do not require birth control because they are pregnant, sterile or do not have intercourse.

The percentage of unmarried women giving birth is increasing among white and black women. The percentage among teen-agers is declining.

Sixty-four percent of white infants, 32% of black infants and 54% of Latino infants are breast fed.

Federal goals call for at least 60% of the 60 million Americans with high blood pressure to have controlled it by 1990. By 1985 approximately 24% had achieved control.

U.S. goals call for fewer than 1,000 cases of whooping cough by 1990.

There were 2,823 cases in 1987--more than occurred a decade ago.

Three million to 4 million American males and females have chlamydia infections, the most common of all sexually transmitted diseases.

By 1990, public health officials hope for a lower syphilis rate of 7 cases per 100,000 population. In 1987 the incidence was 14.5 cases per 100,000 persons, highest since 1982.

Eight percent of Americans have chronic digestive diseases--such as ulcers or colitis--the second leading cause of disability due to illness.

Thirty-seven million Americans have rheumatic disease--1.5 million of whom are totally work-disabled.

About 6% of persons aged 80-85 are in nursing homes.

Half of all nursing home residents have Alzheimer's disease.

At any one time, between 9% and 20% of the U.S. population have depressive symptoms.

Suicide was the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. in 1984.

More than 900,000 Americans are hospitalized for pneumonia each year.

In the elderly and others with underlying disease, the mortality rate for pneumococcal pneumonia, for which a vaccine exists, is 25-35%.

Three million doses of vaccine can be bought for the cost of one fighter plane.

Women who drink the same amount of alcohol as men appear more vulnerable than men to medical problems.

At least 10 million workplace injuries, including 10,000 fatalities, occur each year.

Falls, fires and poisonings are top three causes of accidental deaths in the home.

Smoking-related diseases are the single largest preventable cause of death in America.

Researchers estimate diet may contribute to 35% of all cancer deaths.

About 68% of the public believe there is a relationship between diet and cancer--but don't know how to act upon it.

Tea, especially green tea, is a good source of fluoride.

In any six-month period, an estimated 29.4 million Americans, or 18.7% of the population, suffer one or more mental disorders.

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