Health, United States, 2013 : with special feature on prescription drugs
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Health, United States, 2013 : with special feature on prescription drugs

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    Health, United States, 2013 is the 37th report on the health status of the nation and is submitted by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to the President and the Congress of the United States in compliance with Section 308 of the Public Health Service Act. This report was compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics served in a review capacity.

    The Health, United States series presents an annual overview of national trends in health statistics. The report contains a Chartbook that assesses the nation's health by presenting trends and current information on selected measures of morbidity, mortality, health care utilization and access, health risk factors, prevention, health insurance, and personal health care expenditures. This year's Chartbook includes a Special Feature on Prescription Drugs. The report also contains 135 Trend Tables organized around four major subject areas: health status and determinants, health care utilization, health care resources, and health care expenditures. A companion product—Health, United States: In Brief—features information extracted from the full report. The complete report, In Brief, and related data products are available on the Health, United States website at:

    The 2013 edition: Health, United States, 2013 contains a summary At a Glance table that displays selected indicators of health and their determinants, cross-referenced to charts and tables in the report. This is followed by a Highlights section, a Chartbook, detailed Trend Tables, two detailed Appendixes, and an Index. The major sections of the 2013 report are described below.

    Chartbook: The 2013 Chartbook contains 29 charts, including 10 charts on this year's Special Feature on Prescription Drugs (Figures 20–29). This Special Feature provides an overview of prescription drug use in the United States. Data are presented on the number and classes of drugs used by Americans. Access problems—those who did not receive needed prescription drugs in the past 12 months due to cost—are presented by insurance and poverty status. The impact of specific groups of drugs used to control chronic disease (i.e., antiretrovirals to treat HIV disease and antidepressant drugs) is presented. Quality issues are examined by looking at the misuse of antibiotics to treat cold symptoms, deaths from misuse of opioid analgesic drugs, and the adoption by providers of electronic health record systems, which are designed to improve safety. And finally, the growth in national spending on prescription drugs is shown.

    Trend tables: The Chartbook is followed by 135 detailed Trend Tables that highlight major trends in health statistics. Comparability across editions of Health, United States is fostered by including similar Trend Tables in each volume, and timeliness is maintained by improving the content of tables to reflect key topics in public health. An important criterion used in selecting these tables is the availability of comparable national data over a period of several years.

    Appendix I. Data Sources describes each data source used in Health, United States and provides references for further information about the sources. Data sources are listed alphabetically within two broad categories: Government Sources, and Private and Global Sources.

    Appendix II. Definitions and Methods is an alphabetical listing of selected terms used in Health, United States. It also contains information on the statistical methodologies used in the report.

    Overall responsibility for planning and coordinating the content of this volume rested with the National Center for Health Statistics’ (NCHS) Office of Analysis and Epidemiology, under the direction of Julia S. Holmes and Irma E. Arispe.

    Suggested citation: National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2013: With Special Feature on Prescription Drugs. Hyattsville, MD. 2014.

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