January 11, 2013 |
It would be silly to try to reduce the American character -- if there even is such a thing -- to a single graph. But the one pictured above, taken from a report released Wednesday by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, does a pretty good job conveying the truth behind one of the developed world's favorite stereotypes of the United States. We are, indeed, far more prone to lethal violence than any other country in the developed world. Why? The report wasn't designed to answer that particular question.
June 5, 2012 |
The gap in life expectancy between black and white Americans is smaller than it has ever been, thanks largely to a decline in the number of deaths resulting from heart disease and HIV infection, a new analysis has found. That's the good news. The bad news is that the gap is still large: A black baby boy born today can expect to live 5.4 fewer years, on average, than his white counterpart, and a black baby girl will die 3.7 years earlier, on average, than her white counterpart. What's more, the narrowing of the gap between 2003 and 2008 is due in part to a troubling development among whites: They are more likely than in the past to die from overdoses of powerful prescription medications like OxyContin and Vicodin, along with other unintentional poisonings.
January 26, 2012 |
Home birth is making a marked resurgence in the United States, according to data released Thursday by the federal government. A century ago, most births took place at home. But the rate fell steadily and slipped to less than 1% of all births by 1969 and just over 0.5% in 2004. Though still not common, home births have risen 29% from 2004 to 2009, according to the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2009, the most recent year for which data are available, 0.72% of all births took place at home.
March 18, 2011
An estimated 62 million U.S. women are in their childbearing years. Of those, 62% use some kind of contraception. Among those who don't, 31% are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, postpartum, sterile or not sexually active. The other 7% take their chances. Among those using contraceptives, here's what they use: The pill 28% Sterilization 27.1% Condom 16.1% Vasectomy 9.9% IUD 5.5% Withdrawal 5.2% Injectable Depo-Provera 3.2% Vaginal ring 2.4 Rhythm 0.9 Other: 0.6 Statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Guttmacher Institute.
May 11, 2010 |
For the first time in three decades, the rate of premature births in the United States has declined for two years in a row, a finding that suggests the country is finally beginning to make some progress in the battle against prematurity. The declines were widespread and encompassing, including babies of mothers in all age groups under 40, all ethnicities, singleton and multiple births, vaginal and caesarean births, and every state except Hawaii, according to the report issued Tuesday by the government's National Center for Health Statistics.
January 22, 2010 |
Birth weights in the United States are on the decline, a study has found. The report, released Thursday, found a small but significant decrease in average birth weights from 1990 to 2005, for reasons that scientists say are unclear. The numbers, published in the February issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, mark a shift from earlier reports that noted a rise in birth weights in the latter part of the 20th century. They also seem to go against conventional wisdom, experts said.