Feb 16 (Reuters) - The number of Americans aged 18 to 64 who said they skipped or delayed needed medical care in the past 12 months because of cost rose to 15 percent in 2009, up from 11 percent in 1997, government researchers reported on Wednesday.
They said the number of people who went without needed prescription drugs because of costs nearly doubled to 11 percent in 2009 from 6 percent in 1997.
And the percentage of Americans who put off needed dental care because of costs rose to 17 percent in 2009, compared with 11 percent in 1997, according to the broad-ranging report.
Released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, the CDC’s annual report on the nation’s health features of a compilation of health data from state and federal health agencies.
The full report can be found at www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm
Here are some highlights:
* Between 1999 and 2009, the percentage of working-age adults with private health insurance fell.
* Among adults aged 18 to 44, the percentage of those with private coverage fell to 62 percent in 2009 from 72 percent in 1999, while the percentage of those covered by Medicaid, the U.S. health insurance program for the poor, rose to 10 percent from 6 percent.
* Total personal healthcare costs nearly doubled to nearly $2 trillion in 2009 from $1 trillion in 1998.
During this period, the average annual growth was 9 percent for Medicare, 8 percent for Medicaid and private health insurance and 5 percent for out-of-pocket expenditures.
* A quarter of American adults 45 and older were taking cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins in 2005-2008 to ward off a heart attack, up from 2 percent in 1988-1994.
Older men are more likely to take statins than women — half of men aged 65-74 were taking a statin in 2005-2008 compared with more than a third of women in the same age group.
* Childhood allergies are on the rise. The percentage of children with food allergies rose to 5 percent in 2007-2009 from 3 percent in 1997-1999, and the percentage of children with skin allergies rose to 11 percent from 7 percent in the same periods.
* Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder rose among school aged-children to 9 percent in the 2007-to-2009 period from 7 percent from 1997 to 1999.
* In 2007, nearly 2.5 million people died in the United States, and half of those deaths were caused by heart disease and cancer. Deaths among the very old — those 85 years and older — accounted for 29 percent of the deaths, and deaths among those 75-84 accounted for 27 percent of deaths.
* More people are dying at home than in the past, but most people still die outside the home — 36 percent in hospitals and 22 percent in nursing homes.
* Infant mortality rates — a measure of the underlying health of the mother, public health services and other socioeconomic factors — fell 7 percent to 6.75 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2007 compared with 1997.
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; editing by Mohammad Zargham)