ATLANTA — People with higher levels of education and higher income have lower rates of many chronic diseases compared with those with less education and lower income levels, according to "Health, United States, 2011" — the government’s annual comprehensive report on Americans’ health released Wednesday.
"Health, United States, 2011" is the 35th annual report prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, and includes a compilation of health data through 2010 from a number of sources within the federal government and in the private sector.
This year’s edition features a special section on socioeconomic status and health. Among the highlights:
- In 2007-2010, higher levels of education among the head of household resulted in lower rates of obesity among boys and girls 2 years to 19 years of age. In households where the head of household had less than a high school education, 24% of boys and 22% of girls were obese. In households where the head had a bachelor’s degree or higher, obesity prevalence was 11% for males aged 2 years to 19 years and 7% for females;
- In 2007-2010, women 25 years of age and older with less than a bachelor’s degree were more likely to be obese (39% to 43%) than those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (25%). Obesity prevalence among adult males did not vary consistently with level of education;
- In 2010, 31% of adults 25 years to 64 years of age with a high school diploma or less education were current smokers, compared with 24% of adults with some college and 9% of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Overall, in the same year, 19% of U.S. adults age 18 years and older were current cigarette smokers, a decline from 21% in 2009;
- Between 1996 and 2006, the gap in life expectancy at age 25 years between those with less than a high school education and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased by 1.9 years for men and 2.8 years for women; and
- Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of children with a family income below 200% of poverty level who were uninsured decreased from 22% to 11% to 13%. The percentage with a family income at 200% to 399% of the poverty level who were uninsured decreased from 9% to 7%, and children with a family income at 400% of the poverty level who were uninsured decreased from 3% to 2%.
The full report, a 583-page document, is available here.