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National Health Report

May 14, 2014

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A large new government report suggests that in many respects the U.S. is a healthier nation today than it was a decade back. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that life expectancy rose from about 77 to nearly 79 between 2000 and 2010.

In the same timeframe, infant mortality dropped from nearly 7 deaths for every 1,000 births to a little more than 6. And the overall chance of dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes also fell.

But not all the news was upbeat. Fatalities due to Alzheimer's and suicide actually rose, while the number of adults 18 to 64 who didn't see a doctor because of cost spiked from about 10% to more than 13%.

Similarly the high cost of prescriptions meant that the number of people not getting the drugs they need went up nearly 2 percentage points between 2000 and 2012.

However, the annual report also found that, since 1995, the unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics for cold symptoms actually plummeted by nearly 40%.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with information that can help keep your family healthy.