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Healthy People Targets

Healthy People is a set of 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For the last 30 years, Healthy People objectives have been implemented to measure the impact of prevention activities, encourage collaborations across communities and sectors, and empower individuals toward making informed health decisions. These objectives set specific targets to help guide states, communities, and professional organizations to identify, develop, and evaluate programs and policies that promote healthy aging. Health People objectives and targets were developed in consultation with a wide range of experts on the basis of the best available and most current scientific knowledge.

Many of the indicators used in this Web site have corresponding Healthy People 2020 targets. It is important to note that some of these targets are for the population aged 18 and older, or other specified age groups. For these, this report focuses on whether or not the older adult population met the general target. Also, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is the data system that provides state level data for many of the indicators, is not the official tracker for most of the Healthy People targets. Please refer to the Healthy People Web site for more information.

Indicators and Associated Healthy People 2020 Targets

IndicatorHealthy People 2020 Target
Health and Well Being
Physically unhealthy daysNo target specified.
Frequent mental distressNo target specified.
Oral health: Tooth retention (%)No target specified.
Disability (%)No target specified.
No leisure-time physical activity within past monthNo more than 32.6% of adults aged 18 years or older with no leisure-time physical activity.
Eating fruits and vegetables daily:
Eating 2+ fruits daily (%)
Eating 3+ vegetables daily (%)
Healthy People 2020 tracks the overall increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, rather than separating it into two components.
Obesity (%)No more than 30.6% of adults aged 20 or older who are obese.
Current smoking (%)No more than 12% of adults aged 18 years or older who smoke.
Taking medication for high blood pressureAt least 77.4% of adults aged 18 and older with high blood pressure/hypertension taking the prescribed medications to lower their blood pressure.
Binge drinking within past 30 daysNo more than 24.3% of adults aged 18 years and older reporting that they engaged in binge drinking during the past 30 days
High blood pressure everHigh blood pressure targets measured differently by Healthy People 2020.
Screenings and Vaccines
Mammogram within past two years (%)At least 81.1% of women aged 50-74 have had a mammogram in the past two years.
Colorectal cancer screening (%)At least 70.5% of adults will receive a colorectal cancer screening based on the most recent guidelines.
Pap test within past three years (%)At least 93% of women aged 21 to 65 years receive a cervical cancer screening based on the most recent guidelines (current guidelines state every three years.*)
Cholesterol screening in past 5 years (%)At least 82.1% of adults aged 18 years and older had their blood cholesterol checked within the preceding 5 years.
Osteoporosis screening (%)No target specified.
Smoking cessation counseling (%)No target specified.
Diabetes screening (%)No target specified.
Influenza vaccine in past year (%)At least 90% of adults aged 65 and older who had a flu shot within the past year.
Ever had pneumonia vaccine (%)At least 90% of adults aged 65 and older who ever received a pneumonia vaccine.

Up-to-date on selected preventive services (%)



At least 50.9% of men and 52.7% of women aged 65 years and older are up to date on a core set of clinical preventive services. (NOTE: services are different for the 50-64 year old age group, and the Healthy People target does not address this group.)
Injury, Mobility, and Bone Health
Fall with injury within last year (%)No target specified.
Mental Heath
Current depressionNo target specified.
Life satisfactionNo target specified.
Lifetime diagnosis of anxiety disorderNo target specified.
Lifetime diagnosis of depressionNo target specified.
Moderate depressive symptomsNo target specified.
Social and emotional support.No target specified.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,


* Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Recommendation: Cervical Cancer. AHRQ Web site.

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Healthy People 2020 Older Adult Objectives
In order to better understand the determinants of healthy aging in various populations and settings, specific Healthy People 2020 measures related to older adults were defined with the overall goal to improve their health, function and quality of life.

Objective NumberObjective
OA-1Increase the proportion of older adults who use the Welcome to Medicare benefit.
OA-2Increase the proportion of older adults who are up to date on a core set of clinical preventive services.
OA-3Increase the proportion of older adults with one or more chronic health condition report confidence in managing their conditions.
OA-4Increase the proportion of older adults who receive Diabetes Self-Management Benefits.
OA-5Reduce the proportion of older adults who have moderate to severe functional limitations.
OA-6Increase the proportion of older adults with reduced physical or cognitive function who engage in moderate or vigorous leisure-time physical activities.
OA-7Increase the proportion of the health care workforce with geriatric certification.
OA-8Reduce the proportion of non-institutionalized older adults with disabilities with unmet need for long-term services and supports.
OA-9Reduce the proportion of unpaid caregivers of older adults who report an unmet need for caregiver support services.
OA-10Reduce the rate of pressure ulcer-related hospitalizations among older adults.
OA-11Reduce the rate of emergency department visits due to falls among older adults.
OA-12Increase the number of States, the District of Columbia, and Tribes that collect and make publicly available information on the characteristics of victims, perpetrators, and cases of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.


Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

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