Ten great public health achievements--United States, 1900-1999
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Ten great public health achievements--United States, 1900-1999

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      During the 20th century, the health and life expectancy of persons residing in the United States improved dramatically. Since 1900, the average lifespan of persons in the United States has lengthened by greater than 30 years; 25 years of this gain are attributable to advances in public health (1). To highlight these advances, MMWR will profile 10 public health achievements (see box) in a series of reports published through December 1999.

      Many notable public health achievements have occurred during the 1900s, and other accomplishments could have been selected for the list. The choices for topics for this list were based on the opportunity for Prevention and the impact on death, illness, and disability in the United States and are not ranked by order of importance.

      The first report in this series focuses on vaccination, which has resulted in the eradication of smallpox; elimination of poliomyelitis in the Americas; and control of measles, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and other infectious Diseases in the United States and other parts of the world.

      Ten Great Public Health Achievements -- United States, 1900-1999

      • Vaccination

      • Motor-vehicle safety

      • Safer workplaces

      • Control of infectious Diseases

      • Decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke

      • Safer and healthier foods

      • Healthier mothers and babies

      • Family planning

      • Fluoridation of drinking water

      • Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard

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