Annual Summary of Vital Statistics: Trends in the health of Americans during the 28th century

Bernard Guyer, Mary Anne Freedman, Donna Strobino, Edward J. Sondik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The overall improvement in the health of Americans over the 20th century is best exemplified by dramatic changes in 2 trends: 1) the age-adjusted death rate declined by about 74%, while 2) life expectancy increased 56%. Leading causes of death shifted from infectious to chronic diseases. In 1900, infectious respiratory diseases accounted for nearly a quarter of all deaths. In 1998, the 10 leading causes of death in the United States were, respectively, heart disease and cancer followed by stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, accidents (unintentional injuries), pneumonia and influenza, diabetes, suicide, kidney diseases, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. Together these leading causes accounted for 84% of all deaths. The size and composition of the American population is fundamentally affected by the fertility rate and the number of births. From the beginning of the century there was a steady decline in the fertility rate to a low point in 1936. The postwar baby boom peaked in 1957, when 123 of every 1000 women aged 15 to 44 years gave birth. Thereafter, fertility rates began a steady decline. Trends in the number of births parallel the trends in the fertility rate. Beginning in 1936 and continuing to 1956, there was precipitous decline in maternal mortality from 582 deaths per 100 000 live births in 1935 to 40 in 1956. Since 1950 the maternal mortality ratio dropped by 90% to 7.1 in 1998. The infant mortality rate has shown an exponential decline during the 20th century. In 1915, approximately 100 white infants per 1000 live births died in the first year of life; the rate for black infants was almost twice as high. In 1998, the infant mortality rate was 7.2 overall, 6.0 for white infants, and 14.3 for black infants. For children older than 1 year of age, the overall decline in mortality during the 20th century has been spectacular. In 1900, >3 in 100 children died between their first and 20th birthday; today,

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1307-1317
Number of pages11
JournalPediatrics
Volume106
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000

Fingerprint

Vital Statistics
Birth Rate
Mortality
Maternal Mortality
Health
Live Birth
Infant Mortality
Parturition
Cause of Death
Chronic Disease
Heart Neoplasms
Population Growth
Kidney Diseases
Life Expectancy
Liver Cirrhosis
Suicide
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Human Influenza
Accidents
Communicable Diseases

Keywords

  • Birth
  • Child mortality
  • Death
  • Dependency ratio
  • Fertility
  • Infant mortality
  • Life expectancy
  • Low birth weight
  • Maternal mortality
  • Natality
  • Vital statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Annual Summary of Vital Statistics : Trends in the health of Americans during the 28th century. / Guyer, Bernard; Freedman, Mary Anne; Strobino, Donna; Sondik, Edward J.

In: Pediatrics, Vol. 106, No. 6, 2000, p. 1307-1317.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Guyer, Bernard ; Freedman, Mary Anne ; Strobino, Donna ; Sondik, Edward J. / Annual Summary of Vital Statistics : Trends in the health of Americans during the 28th century. In: Pediatrics. 2000 ; Vol. 106, No. 6. pp. 1307-1317.
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