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New data on the health of these United States
More physicians generally leads to better, or at least more available, health care for a state's population.
May 16th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

New data on the health of these United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their annual health report for 2011 on Wednesday. The report contains more than 150 data tables on the U.S. population's well-being, with a special focus on socioeconomic status.

Here are a few of the interesting tidbits we found. For more, visit www.cdc.gov.

The Bible Belt needs more doctors. On average, there were 25 physicians for every 10,000 people in the U.S. in 2009. The Northeast, Hawaii and Minnesota had the highest ratio of doctors to patients, while states in the South and Rocky Mountain-areas had fewer than 21 per 10,000.

Your education level affects your kids' weight. The CDC collected data on childhood obesity between 2007 and 2010. Where the head of the household had a college degree, 7 to 11% of children aged 2 to 19 were obese. But when the head of the household was a high school dropout, 22 to 24% of the children were obese.

Cigarette smoking is still on the decline. In 2010, 19% of U.S. adults smoked, down 2% from 2009. Over the last decade cigarette smoking among students in 12th grade has decreased from 33% to 22% for male students and from 30% to 16% for female students.

Fewer teens are giving birth. Between 1998 and 2008, birth rates declined 27% for teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17.

The gap is widening in education... In 2006, men without a high school diploma were expected to live 9.3 years less than those with a Bachelor's degree. The difference is two years more than it was in 1996. A similar gap increase holds true for women.

... and narrowing in racial disparities. While the gap between life expectancy rates for African Americans and whites still exists, the gap has narrowed over the last two decades. Hispanics still have higher life expectancies than both ethnic groups.

We're getting better at getting check-ups. In 2010, 59% of people over the age of 50 underwent a recent colorectal test or procedure, compared to 34% in 2000.

Heart disease is still the No 1. killer. In 2008, 617,000 people died from heart disease-related causes. The prevalence among adult men and women has remained fairly steady for the last decade.

Our children are fat, but not getting fatter. In 2010, approximately one in every five children was obese. Yet that rate has stayed pretty steady since 2007. That year, 19.6% of children aged 6 to 11 were obese. In 2010, it was 18%.

Most people aren't moving enough. In 2010 more than half of American adults failed to meet the government's recommended daily physical activity levels. It was worse for the elderly - approximately 70% of those over 75 didn't meet the requirements.


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.