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March 2015Vol. 16, No. 2CDC Reports on Health of U.S. Population

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report featuring data that reflect the status and progress of the health of the U.S. population from 2005 through 2013. The report examines important health concerns among the nation, successes in improving health in the United States, and areas in which more effort is needed. Among the sections that might be of interest to child welfare and related professionals working with children, youth, and families are those focused on maternal and child health, infant mortality, teen births, and more.

Data on various health indicators—including, but not limited to, life expectancy and premature mortality, leading causes of death, tobacco use, heart disease and stroke prevention, cancer prevention and control, diabetes, and asthma—were collected beginning in 2005. However, because health indicators and data sources varied over the years, the most recent year for which data are available may range from 2010 to 2013. A detailed description of each data source, including information about the method of collection and whether data were adjusted for age, race, or other factors, is available at

Child welfare and related professionals working with pregnant or parenting teens may be interested to see that teen births among girls ages 15–19 years has steadily declined, hitting a record low in 2013 (26.6 births per 1,000 female teens). Between 2005 and 2013, the teen birth rate declined at an average of 5.4 percent each year.

CDC National Health Report: Leading Causes of Morbidity and Mortality and Associated Behavioral Risk and Protective Factors—United States, 2005–2013 is available on the CDC website at