The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today released its 34th annual report to Congress on the nation's state of health. Health, United States, 2010: With Special Feature on Death and Dying is a large compendium of statistics on disease, mortality and medical care.
Among the report's highlights:
* Heart disease continued to be the leading cause of death in 2007, accounting for 25 percent of all deaths. Cancer followed closely behind with 23 percent.
* Between 2000 and 2007, life expectancy rose 1.3 years for males (to 75.4) and 1.1 years for females (to 80.4).
* The prevalence of obesity increased in all age groups over the past two decades. About 33 percent of adults over the age of 20 were obese in the period 2007-08.
* The percent of adults who smoke cigarettes has stayed flat at 21 percent for several years.
* Total visits to hospitals and doctors' offices increased from 861,000 in 1995 to 1.2 million in 2008. The number of visits per 100 persons rose from 329 to 405 over the same period.
* In 2007 health care spending accounted for 16 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (compared to 11 percent in France). Between 1990 and 2008, per capita health expenditures rose $2,814 to $7,681 (in current dollars).