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U.S. Men Report: Changes in Self-Reported Health Behaviors and Chronic Conditions from 1999 to 2009

U.S. males should look for ways to make healthy choices in their daily lives, including increasing physical activity, practicing healthy eating, and reducing alcohol and tobacco use.

Chart: Men Who are Obese. Body Mass Index (BMI) 30.0 to 99.8. 1999 19.9%; 2001 21.3%; 2003 23.2%; 2005 24.8%; 2007 27.2%; and 2009 28.5%.
Chart: Men Who Have Had Their Blood Cholesterol Checked and Have Been Told It Was High. 1999 29.6%; 2001 31.2%; 2003 33.9%; 2005 37.3%; 2007 39.0; 2009 39.6%

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, males make up 49.3% of the United States population. CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) recently released 2009 data on U.S. adult health risks and behaviors. Self-reported health behaviors and chronic conditions for U.S. men fluctuated from 1999 to 2009. Among U.S. males, health behaviors for tobacco use and binge drinking decreased and chronic conditions including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension prevalence increased from 1999 to 2009.

Improved Health Behaviors

Improved self-reported health behaviors included smoking, binge drinking and exercise. Men who reported being current smokers dropped from 24.3% in 1999 to 19.6% in 2009, and those who reported binge drinking (five or more drinks on one occasion) declined from 23.9% in 1999 to 21.2% in 2009. Men who participated in moderate physical activity (30 or more minutes of moderate physical activity five or more days per week) increased from 49.7% in 2001 to 53.3% in 2009. Similarly, the percentage of men who did not participate in vigorous physical activity (20 or more minutes of vigorous physical activity three or more days per week) declined from 70.1% in 2001 to 65.3% in 2009. Also, men who reported themselves as overweight (having a Body Mass Index or BMI of 25.0 to 29.9) decreased from 45.3% in 1999 to 42.6% in 2009. Self-reported heart attacks declined slightly from 5.5% in 2005 to 5.2% in 2009. Angina or coronary heart disease also declined slightly from 5.2% in 2005 to 4.7% in 2009.

Worsened Health Behaviors

During the same time frame, worsened self-reported health behaviors include obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension (high blood pressure). Men who reported themselves as obese (having a Body Mass Index or BMI of 30.0 to 99.8) increased from 19.9% in 1999 to 28.5% in 2009. Men who have had their cholesterol checked and have been told that it was high increased from 29.6% in 1999 to 39.6% in 2009. Moreover, men who reported having diabetes increased from 5.9% in 1999 to 8.8% in 2009; and men who reported having hypertension increased from 23.0% in 1999 to 29.8% in 2009. The percentage of men who ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day decreased slightly from 19.5% in 1999 to 19.1% in 2009.

About BRFSS

BRFSS is a state-based telephone health survey that collects information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury. BRFSS data uses median values for state-by-state prevalence, or the number of existing cases in a defined group of people during a specific time period. For many states, BRFSS is the only available source of timely, accurate data on health-related behaviors. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the world's largest, on-going telephone health survey system, tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984.

Currently data are collected monthly in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. More than 400,000 adults are interviewed each year. States use BRFSS data to identify emerging health problems, establish and track health objectives, and develop and evaluate public health policies and programs. Many states also use BRFSS data to support health-related legislative efforts.

Health Status Trends of U.S. Men from 1999 to 2009 (States and DC)

Men who are current smokers
 
Men who have had their blood cholesterol checked and have been told it was high
2009 19.6 percent
2007 21.2 percent
2005 22.1 percent
2003 24.8 percent
2001 25.6 percent
1999 24.3 percent
2009 39.6 percent
2007 39.0 percent
2005 37.3 percent
2003 33.9 percent
2001 31.2 percent
1999 29.6 percent
Binge drinking-men
(having five or more drinks on one occasion)
Men who have ever been told by a doctor
that they had diabetes
2009 21.2 percent
2007 21.2 percent
2005 22.0 percent
2003 25.1 percent
2001 22.7 percent
1999 23.9 percent
2009 8.8 percent
2007 8.1 percent
2005 7.7 percent
2003 7.2 percent
2001 6.6 percent
1999 5.9 percent
Men who consumed five or more servings
of fruits and vegetables per day
Men who have ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that they had high blood pressure
2009 19.1 percent
2007 19.4 percent
2005 18.6 percent
2003 17.6 percent
2001 19.7 percent
1998 19.5 percent
2009 29.8 percent
2007 28.1 percent
2005 25.4 percent
2003 25.1 percent
2001 25.2 percent
1999 23.0 percent
Men who did not participate in Vigorous Physical Activity
Adults with 20+ minutes of vigorous physical activity
three or more days per week
Men who are Obese (BMI is 30.0 to 99.8)
2009 65.3 percent
2007 67.1 percent
2005 68.0 percent
2003 68.5 percent
2001 70.1 percent
1999 N/A
2009 28.5 percent
2007 27.2 percent
2005 24.8 percent
2003 23.2 percent
2001 21.3 percent
1999 19.9 percent
Men who participated in Moderate Physical Activity
Adults with 30+ minutes of moderate physical activity five or more days per week, or vigorous physical activity for 20+ minutes three or more days per week
Men who have ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or health professional that that they had a heart attack (also called a myocardial infarction)
2009 53.3 percent
2007 51.5 percent
2005 50.7 percent
2003 50.1percent
2001 49.7 percent
1999 N/A
2009 5.2 percent
2007 5.4 percent
2005 5.5 percent
2003 N/A
2001 N/A
1999 N/A
Men who are Overweight (BMI is 25.0 to 29.9)
Men who have ever been told by a doctor, nurse
or health professional that they had angina or coronary heart disease
2009 42.6 percent
2007 43.1 percent
2005 43.7 percent
2003 44.0 percent
2001 44.8 percent
1999 45.3 percent
2009 4.7 percent
2007 5.1 percent
2005 5.2 percent
2003 N/A
2001 N/A
1999 N/A

Data Source: CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS): http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/BRFSS/

Chart: Men Reporting Their Own Health Status 1999-2009

More Information

  • Page last reviewed: June 14, 2010
  • Page last updated: June 14, 2010
  • Content source:
    • Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
    • Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
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