Vital Statistics 2009

The Annual Numbers on Health 
in the United States

Every year, the American Academy of Pediatrics publishes a 
truly fascinating collection of stats on the health of American

The publication is always the first article of the January issue, 
every year, of Pediatrics (www.pediatrics.org).

Now that Advanced Pediatrics has a solid connection to families
available via our web page, Tweeter, and Facebook, I thought 
it might be interesting once a year to see how we can 

The data presented each year represent information as of 
the end of the previous year that are completed, typically of 
2-3 years prior to the date of publication.  So for this 2010 article
the stats reflect how things were for 2006 and 2007.

Here are the most striking facts, for the United States:
  • There were 4.3 million people born in 2007
  • There were 2.4 million deaths in 2007
  • Most births were to Moms ages 20-34
  • Teenage pregnancy remains much lower in 2005-7 than 1990
  • C-section rates continue to climb each year, now up to 28% nationwide for 20-29 y/o's
  • A slight but real rise in the percentage of children born early continues, now up to 8.3%
  • Infant mortality rate (IMR) is a valid measure of a nation's health, and health care system.
  • The United States ranks #29 in IMR.  Japan's IMR is about 1/4 of ours!
  • Of the 2.4 Million deaths a year in the US, a total of about 50,000 are in kids (<20 y/o)
  • In infants (0-1 years old), about a third of the deaths are from prematurity and anomalies.
  • SIDS remains the third leading cause of death in the first year of life, but the number continues to drop.
  • Accidents are the number 5 cause of death in infancy.
  • For older children, by far the most common cause of death is injury, primarily accidental.
  • About 40% of all childhood deaths are due to accidents, from ages 1-19 years old.
  • The chance of loss of life with an accident jumps dramatically after age 15, reflecting the dangerous nature of driving, and the rise of violent fighting, and of suicide.
  • Once accidents of all sorts are eliminated, the good news is that childhood is by far the healthiest age to be.  Very few children in the United States suffer dangerous illness.  The rates of truly dangerous illness have dropped for most categories to the range of risk of 1 in 10-100,000.
Bottom Line:
By far and away the greatest threats to our children's health are prematurity and anomalies for infants, and accidents and injuries for children and adolescents.

The United States has much progress to make to claim the best health in the world.

Even so, although all diseases are far from conquered, this generation of children
remains the healthiest in the history of the world.  We should toast to their health
and enjoy the fact that so many are indeed quite well, during this coming year of 

Dr. Arthur Lavin

The comments contained in this electronic source of information do not constitute and are not designed to imply that they constitute any form of individual medical advice. The information provided is purely for informational purposes only and not relevant to any person's particular medical condition or situation. If you have any medical concerns about yourself or your family please contact your physician immediately. In order to provide our patients the best uninfluenced information that science has to offer,we do not accept samples of drugs, advertising tchotchkes, money, food, or any item from outside vendors.

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