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Prevalence of selected chronic conditions; United States, 1990-92

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    This report presents an update of the prevalence of selected chronic conditions in the United States. Its purpose is to provide prevalence data by age, sex and age, race and age, family income, and geographic region for major chronic condition systems. It further assesses the percent of selected conditions that cause activity limitation, the percent for which a physician was consulted, and the percent that caused hospitalization. Conditions with the highest prevalence and those causing the most disability days are also analyzed. Trends in prevalence rates for the conditions with highest prevalence are examined as well. Information for this report is based on data collected during the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the years 1990, 1991, and 1992. This is a continuing nationwide survey of households for which a probability sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States is interviewed by the U.S. Bureau of the Census regarding the health and other characteristics of each member of the household. The sample for the years 1990–92 was composed of 142,638 households containing 368,075 persons. Each household was administered one of six of the chronic conditions system lists. Deformities or orthopedic impairments was the most frequent chronic condition reported with almost 35 million conditions. Other conditions high in prevalence were chronic sinusitis, arthritis, and high blood pressure with annual averages of 33.7, 31.8, and 27.6 million conditions, respectively. Mental retardation and multiple sclerosis caused the highest percents of activity limitation among persons afflicted, 87.5 percent and 69.4 percent, respectively. Deformities and other orthopedic impairments, arthritis, and heart disease caused the highest numbers of restricted activity days and bed disability days per year, whereas, malignant neoplasms of the lung, bronchus, and other respiratory sites, caused the highest number of restricted activity days per year, per condition reported, 96.1 days. In little more than a decade, the prevalence rate from asthma has increased almost 50 percent and the rate from chronic bronchitis has increased 46 percent.
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    [by John Gary Collins]. Includes bibliographical references.
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