Cover image for Portrait of health in the United States
Portrait of health in the United States
Melnick, Daniel.
First edition, 2001.
Publication Information:
Lanham, MD : Bernan, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxi, 376 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
General Note:
"Major statistical trends & guide to resources"--Cover.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RA407.3 .P67 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



Find current and historical information on a broad range of health issues, including indicators of disease, correlates of behavior and health, trends in the provision of health care and public health measures. This new reference also reveals how to find and use health statistics. It guides the user to resources in libraries, on the World Wide Web, as well as from many other diverse sources.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

While most of the government statistics presented here can be found on the web, they can be difficult to locate because they are produced by many different agencies. They can also be difficult to interpret. As a result, this book the first of what will be an annual goes a long way toward helping readers find and understand health statistics. Following a useful introduction on the importance of health statistics, statistics on health status and related behaviors are organized in four categories: correlates, conditions, care, and consequences. The narrative describes the source, relevance, and quality of the data for each topic and includes maps or charts and tables detailing trends when appropriate. The book concludes with an extremely helpful chapter, "How To Find More Health Statistics," which offers Internet search strategies and sources, such as the URL for the slides Melnick used in his "Finding and Using Health Statistics" course ( index.htm). (Melnick taught at the Medical Library Association conference in May 2000.) This work would be more useful as a reference tool if it had included an index. Fortunately, the table of contents and list of tables is very detailed. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Margaret Allen, Library Consultant, Statford, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Melnick and Rouse present a unique and interesting compilation of health-related statistics. Chapter 2, "Correlates," presents statistics on contributing factors such as nutrition, drug use, and utilization of screening tests. Chapter 3, "Conditions," gives data for specific injuries and diseases, with the various cancers listed separately. Health care services are analyzed in chapter 4, while chapter 5 considers disabilities and sensory impairments. In all these chapters, tables that present long-term comparisons for 1973-98 are the most useful. Tables covering only a single year will not be meaningful if the book is not regularly updated. Introductory text in each chapter describes the overall content of each table, but this text neither addresses anomalies in the data nor describes how particular statistics were calculated. Chapter 1 describes the concepts underlying the book's production, and chapter 6 lists agencies that collect and provide health statistics. If this publication is regularly updated, it will be a useful addition to reference collections; even if it is a one-time effort, it will provide historical data that could possibly be updated by inquiries to the original sources of the statistics. All collections. K. Bradley Bellevue Community College

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tablesp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xvii
Prefacep. xix
Chapter 1 Why We Need Health Statisticsp. 1
A Social Definition of Healthp. 1
Public Healthp. 1
Health's Effect on the Economyp. 2
Health Statistics as Indicators of Well-Beingp. 3
What Health Statistics Describep. 5
Framework of the Presentationp. 7
Variation Is Keyp. 7
The Importance of Locationp. 7
Rationale for the Selection of Datap. 8
Reaching Beyond This Bookp. 8
Notesp. 11
Chapter 2 Correlatesp. 13
Behavioral Correlatesp. 13
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugsp. 13
State Restrictions on Tobacco Usep. 15
Nutritionp. 17
Hungerp. 17
Calculating the Food Security Indexp. 17
Eating the Right Foodsp. 19
The Healthy Eating Indexp. 21
Physical Activityp. 21
Sexual Activityp. 21
Source of Data on Sexual Behaviorp. 22
Environmental Factorsp. 24
Lead Exposure in Childrenp. 24
Air Qualityp. 26
Releases of Toxic Substancesp. 30
Workplace Hazardsp. 30
Social, Regulatory, and Health Care Factorsp. 33
Regulation of Transportationp. 33
Food Safetyp. 33
Health Care Factorsp. 35
A Pattern of Uneven Carep. 35
Cancer Screeningp. 35
Breast and Cervical Cancer Screeningp. 36
Differences in Cancer Screening Rates by Statep. 39
Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Screeningp. 39
Summaryp. 41
Notesp. 93
Chapter 3 Conditions--Indicators of Wellness and Diseasep. 97
Measures and Indices of Healthp. 97
Morbidity Ratesp. 97
Mortality Rates as Indicators of Healthp. 98
Validityp. 98
Sourcesp. 99
How Morbidity Compares with Mortalityp. 99
Trends in the Overall Death Ratep. 100
Infant Mortalityp. 101
How Infant Mortality is Measuredp. 101
Causes of Infant Deathsp. 101
The Leading Causes of Deathp. 103
Age Differencesp. 107
Gender Differencesp. 108
Ethnic and Racial Differencesp. 108
Injuriesp. 109
Motor Vehicle Injuries and Deathsp. 112
Sports Injuriesp. 112
Injuries in the Workplacep. 115
Firearms-Related Injuriesp. 115
Data Sources for Injuriesp. 115
Malignancies and Chronic Diseasesp. 117
Diseases of the Circulatory System (Including Heart Disease and Stroke)p. 117
Cancerp. 117
Sources of Data on Cancerp. 117
Cancer Incidencep. 118
Prostate Cancerp. 118
Breast Cancerp. 118
Lung Cancerp. 119
Survival of Persons with Cancerp. 119
Cancer Mortality (Deaths)p. 121
Comparison of Cancer Incidence, Survival, and Mortalityp. 123
Chronic Conditionsp. 125
Diabetes Mellitusp. 127
Mental Disordersp. 128
Acute Conditionsp. 130
Notifiable, Infectious, and Communicable Diseasesp. 130
Ongoing Surveillancep. 131
Well-Known Infectious and Communicable Diseasesp. 131
Tuberculosisp. 131
Hepatitis Cp. 132
Lyme Diseasep. 132
Rocky Mountain Feverp. 132
Malariap. 132
Rabiesp. 132
Salmonellosisp. 132
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome and Other Sexually Transmitted Diseasesp. 132
HIV/AIDSp. 132
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)p. 134
Vaccine-Preventable Diseasesp. 135
Infectious Disease Data Sourcesp. 135
Summaryp. 136
Notesp. 216
Chapter 4 Carep. 219
Use of Health Care Servicesp. 219
Access to Carep. 219
Childrenp. 222
Adultsp. 222
Familiesp. 222
Outpatient Carep. 224
Inpatient Hospital Carep. 224
The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Projectp. 226
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Servicesp. 226
Treatment for Alcohol and Illicit Drug Abusep. 226
Treatment for Mental Illnessp. 227
Home Health Care and Hospice Servicesp. 228
Nursing Homesp. 230
Unmet Medical Needsp. 230
Inability to Obtain Needed Medical Care or Specific Medical Servicesp. 230
Measuring Unmet Needsp. 230
Annual Doctor Visitsp. 231
Health Insurance Coverage in the Populationp. 231
Continuous Health Insurance Coveragep. 232
Insurance Data Sourcesp. 232
Health Insurance--Related Legislative Provisionsp. 235
Quality of Carep. 235
Setting Standards and Assessing Quality of Health Carep. 235
Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS)p. 236
Hospital-Acquired Diseases (Nosocomial Infections)p. 237
Hospital Control of Infections Following Surgery for Specific Proceduresp. 238
Availability of Health Practitionersp. 238
National Health Care Expendituresp. 239
What the U.S. Health Dollars Buyp. 240
The National Health Accountsp. 240
Mental Health Expendituresp. 241
Who Pays for Health Care in the U.S.p. 241
The Health Care Systemp. 242
Medicaidp. 243
Summaryp. 244
Notesp. 313
Chapter 5 Consequences--The Effects of Health on People and the Societyp. 315
Main Trendsp. 315
Consequences of Health Practicesp. 315
Consequences of Environmental Exposurep. 317
Life Expectancyp. 317
Causes of Potential Years Lostp. 318
Years of Potential Life Lost: The Measurep. 321
Quality of Lifep. 321
Years of Healthy Life Indexp. 322
Use of Assistive Devicesp. 322
Vision and Hearing Impairment among Older Adultsp. 323
Activity Limitationsp. 323
Disabilityp. 324
Leading Causes of Disabilityp. 324
Children with Disabilitiesp. 326
Adults with Disabilitiesp. 326
Who Is Disabled?p. 328
Data Sources on Disabilityp. 329
Productivity (Work and School)p. 330
Costs to Society from Poor Healthp. 330
Summaryp. 334
Notesp. 359
Chapter 6 How to Find More Health Statisticsp. 361
Finding Health Statistics in Librariesp. 361
The Index to Health Informationp. 361
Using the Internetp. 361
Guide to Health Statistics Sources on the Internetp. 361
General Purpose Web Sitesp. 362
Portalsp. 362
CDC Data and Surveillance Links Pagep. 362
CDC Wonderp. 362
Data Council Inventory of Databasesp. 362
Global Health Resourcesp. 362
Health, United States Appendixp. 362
Lexis-Nexis Statistical Universep. 363
NCHS Linksp. 363
White House Office of National Drug Control Policyp. 363
Social Statistics Briefing Roomp. 363
Statistical Resources on the Web (University of Michigan)p. 363
Women with Disabilities--Statistical Informationp. 363
Interactive Web Sitesp. 363
Computer-Assisted Survey (UC-Berkeley)p. 364
FEDSTATS List of Interactive Sitesp. 364
Federal Electronic Research and Review Extraction Tool (FERRET)p. 364
Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Archivep. 364
Massachusetts Community Health Information Profile (MassCHIP)p. 364
Trends in Health and Aging (NCHS Data Archive on Aging)p. 364
Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)p. 365
Health Statistics Agencies' Web Sitesp. 365
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Servicesp. 365
National Center for Health Statisticsp. 365
National Vital Statistics Systemp. 365
Birth and Death Datap. 365
Fetal Death Datap. 366
National Mortality Followback Surveyp. 366
National Health Interview Surveyp. 366
National Immunization Surveyp. 366
National Health Interview Survey on Disabilityp. 366
National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveyp. 366
NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Studyp. 367
National Health Care Surveyp. 367
CDC Surveillance Reportsp. 367
National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance (NNIS) Systemp. 367
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)p. 367
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) Systemp. 367
Other CDC Surveillance Sitesp. 368
Health Care Financing Administrationp. 368
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationp. 368
Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS)p. 368
National Household Survey on Drug Abusep. 368
Drug Abuse Warning Networkp. 368
National Substance Abuse Web Indexp. 369
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research)p. 369
Medical Expenditure Panel Surveyp. 369
Healthcare Cost and Utilization Projectp. 369
Indian Health Servicep. 369
National Institutes of Healthp. 370
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)p. 370
National Cancer Institute (NCI)p. 370
CancerNetp. 370
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Programp. 370
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)p. 370
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)p. 370
Monitoring the Futurep. 370
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institutep. 370
National Institute of Mental Healthp. 371
Administration on Agingp. 371
Other Federal Agenciesp. 371
Bureau of the Census Disability Statisticsp. 371
Bureau of Labor Statisticsp. 371
Occupational Health Statisticsp. 371
Department of Transportationp. 371
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)p. 371
Bureau of Transportation Statisticsp. 371
U.S. Department of Agriculturep. 371
FoodNetp. 372
State Datap. 372
Directory of State Government Officesp. 372
NCHS State Data Sitesp. 372
CDC List of State Health Departmentsp. 372
International Sitesp. 372
United Nations Statistics Officep. 372
Info Nationp. 372
World Health Organization's Statistical Information Systemp. 372
Health-Related Web Sites of World Health Organization Member Nationsp. 372
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)p. 372
Pan American Health Organizationp. 372
Progress of Nations, 1998p. 372
Nongovernmental Organizationsp. 373
National Safety Council's Statistics Departmentp. 373
North American Association of Central Cancer Registriesp. 373
The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI)p. 373
Partnership for a Drug-Free Americap. 373
Kaiser Family Foundation--State Health Factsp. 373
Center for International Health Informationp. 373
American Cancer Societyp. 373
American Heart Associationp. 373
Publicationsp. 373
Combined Health Information Database (CHID)p. 373
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reportp. 373
Vital and Health Statistics Series (NCHS)p. 374
National Vital Statistics Reportp. 374
Changing America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being by Race and Hispanic Originp. 374
Surgeon General Reportsp. 374
Women of Color Health Data Book (NWHIC)p. 374
Mental Health, United States (Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA)p. 374
Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992p. 374
Atlas of United States Mortalityp. 374
Atlas of Cancer Mortality, 1950-1994p. 374
Chronic Disease Prevention Filep. 374
Alcohol Epidemiologic Data Directoryp. 375
Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon Generalp. 375
SAMHSA Statistics Source Bookp. 375
Women and Heart Disease (CDC)p. 375
Notesp. 376