New DHS Report Shows Public Health Improvements
More expectant mothers in California are receiving adequate prenatal care, and the incidence of AIDS among residents ages 13 and older has decreased, according to a new report from the Department of Health Services and the California Conference of Local Health Officers. Titled "County Health Status Profiles 2001," the report analyzed data from all 58 counties and compared the data with the "newly established" Healthy People 2010 Objectives published by the National Center for Health Statistics (DHS release, 4/2). The report analyzed data compiled from 1997-1999 and compared it to statistics from 1994-1996 (Sacramento Bee, 4/3). Some of the main findings of the report, released in conjunction with Public Health Week April 2-8, include:
- Forty-four counties improved prenatal care, while 75% of California mothers in 1997-99 "received adequate to adequate/plus care as measured by the Adequacy of Prenatal Care Utilization Index," a 5.3% improvement over 1994-96.
- The 1997-99 average for California mothers initiating breastfeeding was 79.9%, exceeding the Healthy People 2010 objective of 75%.
- The reported incidence rates of AIDS for those ages 13 and older decreased 45.4%, from 44.9 cases per 100,000 residents in 1994-96 to 24.5 per 100,000 in 1997-99, with 51 counties showing a decline from 1994-96 rates.
- The average rate of reported tuberculosis cases decreased from 13.8 per 100,000 residents in 1994-96 to 11.6 per 100,000 in 1997-99, a 15.9% decline, with 20 counties showing a drop.
- Thirty-five counties had no reported cases of syphilis from 1997-99, meeting the Healthy People 2010 Objective.
- The 1999 rate for diabetes deaths in California was 20.5 per 100,000 residents, "far exceed[ing] the Healthy People 2010 Objective" of 45.0 deaths per 100,000 residents.
DHS Director Diana Bonta said, "The significant strides we've made in protecting the health of every Californian are paying off. We're addressing everyday health problems with creative and innovative solutions and working continuously to improve our public health infrastructure so that all Californians can benefit from our programs and services" (DHS release, 4/2). To view the full report, go to http://www.dhs.ca.gov/hisp/chs/phweek/cprofile2001/Profile2001.pdf. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.
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