Thursday, October 10, 2013

Health Status Decline: 2000 to 2012

The self-reported health status of Americans is continuing to decline. Among people aged 18 or older in 2012, only 52 percent say they are in "very good" or "excellent" health. The figure was 56 percent in 2000.

The overall decline in health status is not surprising given the aging of the population. The percentage who report being in very good or excellent health falls with age from a high of 63 percent among 18-to-24-year-olds to a low of 41 percent among people aged 65 or older. But there's more to it than that, because younger adults are experiencing the greatest decline. The share of 25-to-44-year-olds who are in very good or excellent health fell by 8 to 9 percentage points between 2000 and 2012. Meanwhile, the share of people aged 65 or older who are in very good or excellent health grew by 4.5 percentage points during those years.

Percent who report "very good" or "excellent" health in 2012 
(and percentage point change since 2000)
Aged 18 to 24: 63.1% (-0.7)
Aged 25 to 34: 58.2% (-8.9)
Aged 35 to 44: 54.8% (-8.4)
Aged 45 to 54: 51.5% (-4.9)
Aged 55 to 64: 47.5% (-1.6)
Aged 65-plus: 40.7% (4.5)

Source: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Prevalence and Trends Data

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