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America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2013

Health Figures

Indicator Health1.A: Percentage of infants born preterm and percentage of infants born with low birthweight, 1990–2011
Percentage of infants born preterm and percentage of infants born with low birthweight, 1990–2011

NOTE: Data for 2011 are preliminary. Late preterm infants are born at 34–36 weeks of gestation; early preterm infants are born at less than 34 weeks of gestation. Moderately low birthweight infants weigh 1,500–2,499 grams at birth; very low birthweight infants weigh less than 1,500 grams at birth.

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System.

Indicator Health1.B: Percentage of infants born with low birthweight by race and Hispanic origin of mother, 1990, 2006, and 2011
Percentage of infants born with low birthweight by race and Hispanic origin of mother, 1990, 2006, and 2011

NOTE: Data for 2011 are preliminary. Race refers to mother's race. The 1977 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards for data on race and ethnicity were used to classify persons into one of the following four racial groups: White, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or Asian or Pacific Islander. Although state reporting of birth certificate data is transitioning to comply with the 1997 OMB standard for race and ethnicity statistics, 2006 and 2010 data from states reporting multiple races were bridged to the single-race categories of the 1977 OMB standards for comparability with other states. Data on race and Hispanic origin are collected and reported separately. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System.

Indicator Health2: Death rates among infants by race and Hispanic origin of mother, 1983–1991 and 1995–2011
Death rates among infants by race and Hispanic origin of mother, 1983–1991 and 1995–2011

NOTE: Infant deaths are deaths before an infant's first birthday. Data from the file linking live births to infant deaths are available for 1983–1991 and 1995–2009 only. The mortality rate for 2010 was obtained from unlinked death records from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). The rate for 2011 was obtained from preliminary unlinked death records of the NVSS. These data are not currently available from the National Linked Files of Live Births and Infant Deaths. Race refers to mother's race. The 1977 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards for data on race and ethnicity were used to classify persons into one of the following four racial groups: White, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or Asian or Pacific Islander. Although state reporting of birth certificate data is transitioning to comply with the 1997 OMB standard for race and ethnicity statistics, data from states reporting multiple races were bridged to the single-race categories of the 1977 OMB standards for comparability with other states. Data on race and Hispanic origin are collected and reported separately. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Trends for the Hispanic population are affected by an expansion in the number of registration areas that included an item on Hispanic origin on the birth certificate.

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System.

Indicator Health3: Percentage of children ages 4–17 reported by a parent to have serious emotional or behavioral difficulties by gender, 2001–2011
Percentage of children ages 4–17 reported by a parent to have serious emotional or behavioral difficulties by gender, 2001–2011

NOTE: Children with serious emotional or behavioral difficulties are defined as those whose parent responded "yes, definite" or "yes, severe" to the following question on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ):120 "Overall, do you think that (child) has difficulties in any of the following areas: emotions, concentration, behavior, or being able to get along with other people?" Response choices were: (1) no; (2) yes, minor difficulties; (3) yes, definite difficulties; (4) yes, severe difficulties. These difficulties may be similar to but do not equate with the Federal definition of serious emotional disturbances (SED), used by the Federal government for planning purposes.

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey.

Indicator Health4: Percentage of youth ages 12–17 who experienced a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year by age and gender, 2004–2011
Percentage of youth ages 12–17 who experienced a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year by age and gender, 2004–2011

NOTE: Major Depressive Episode (MDE) is defined as a period of at least 2 weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities plus at least four additional symptoms of depression (such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and feelings of self-worth) as described in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

SOURCE: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Indicator Health5: Percentage of children ages 5–17 with activity limitation resulting from one or more chronic health conditions by gender, 2000–2011
Percentage of children ages 5–17 with activity limitation resulting from one or more chronic health conditions by gender, 2000–2011

NOTE: Children are identified as having activity limitation by asking parents (1) whether children receive special education services and (2) whether they are limited in their ability to walk, care for themselves, or participate in other activities. "Activity limitation indicated by participation in special education" only includes children identified solely by their use of special education services. "Activity limitation indicated by all other limitations" includes limitations in self-care, walking, or other activities, and children in this category may also receive special education services. Chronic health conditions are conditions that once acquired are not cured or have a duration of 3 months or more.

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey.

Indicator Health6: Average diet scores for children ages 2–17, expressed as a percentage of Federal diet quality standards, 2003–2004, 2005–2006, and 2007–2008
Average diet scores for children ages 2–17, expressed as a percentage of Federal diet quality standards, 2003–2004, 2005–2006, and 2007–2008

NOTE: HEI-2010 scores are expressed as percentages of recommended dietary intake levels. A score corresponding to 100 percent indicates that the recommendation was met or exceeded, on average. For the adequacy components, higher scores reflect higher intakes. For the moderation components, higher scores reflect lower intakes because lower intakes are more desirable. For all components, a higher percentage indicates a higher quality diet. "Empty calories" refers to calories from solid fats (i.e., sources of saturated fats and trans fats) and added sugars (i.e., sugars not naturally occurring). Total fruit includes 100 percent fruit juice.

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003–2004, 2005–2006, 2007–2008 and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion Addendum to the MyPyramid Equivalents Database.

Indicator Health7: Percentage of children ages 6–17 who are obese by race and Hispanic origin, selected years 1976–2010
Percentage of children ages 6–17 who are obese by race and Hispanic origin, selected years 1976–2010

NOTE: Previously a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the sex-specific BMI growth charts was termed overweight (http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts). Beginning with America's Children, 2010, a BMI at or above the 95th percentile is termed obese to be consistent with other National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) publications. Estimates of obesity are comparable to estimates of overweight in past reports.139 All estimates have a relative standard error of less than 30 percent and meet agency standards for publication. Observed differences between 2-year estimates for race/ethnic groups are not statistically significant unless noted. From 1976 to 1994, the 1977 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards were used to classify persons into one of four racial groups: White, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or Asian or Pacific Islander. For 1999–2010, the revised 1997 OMB standards were used. Persons could select one or more of five racial groups: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Included in the total are racial groups not shown separately. Beginning in 1999, racial categories represent persons reporting only one race. Data from 1999 onward are not directly comparable with data from earlier years. Persons of Mexican origin may be of any race.

From 1976 to 2006, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) sample was designed to provide estimates specifically for persons of Mexican origin. In 2007, NHANES allowed for reporting of total Hispanics and for Mexican Americans; however, estimates reported here are for Mexican Americans to be consistent with earlier years.

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Indicator Health8: Percentage of children ages 0–17 with asthma, 1997–2011
Percentage of children ages 0–17 with asthma, 1997–2011

NOTE: Children are identified as ever diagnosed with asthma by asking parents, "Has a doctor or other health professional EVER told you that your child has asthma?" If the parent answers YES to this question, they are then asked (1) "Does your child still have asthma?" and (2) "During the past 12 months, has your child had an episode of asthma or an asthma attack?" The question "Does your child still have asthma?" was introduced in 2001 and identifies children who currently have asthma.

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey.

120 Goodman, R. (1999). The extended version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire as a guide to child psychiatric caseness and consequent burden. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40, 791–799.

139 Ogden, C.L., and Flegal, K.M. (2010). Changes in terminology for childhood overweight and obesity. National Health Statistics Reports, 25. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr025.pdf.