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The Role of Public Health in Mental Health Promotion
Mental illness is serious and should be treated with the same urgency as physical illness. CDC hopes that this series of mental health articles and other public health activities will lead to expanded collaborative efforts with other federal agencies and public health partners to address mental health as part of a comprehensive strategy to improve overall health.
With this issue of MMWR, CDC is beginning an occasional series of articles that will highlight the public health importance of mental health in the United States. Nearly, half (46 percent) of the U.S. adult population suffers from some form mental illness. And almost one in 10 children in the United States has a mental disorder that causes some type of impairment. Globally, mental illness is serious and should be treated with the same urgency as physical illness. Approximately, 450 million people suffer from mental disorders and one fourth of the world’s population will develop a mental or behavioral disorder at some time during their lives.
Mental health and physical health are inextricably linked. Mental illness can influence the onset, progression and outcome of other illnesses and often correlates with health risk behaviors such as smoking, over eating and physical inactivity. Therefore, additional efforts within the public health community are needed through surveillance and research to further understand and develop population based strategies to promote mental health and prevent mental illness, especially as they relate to physical health and illness.
Prevalence of Diagnosis and Medication Treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ― United States, 2003
ADHD is a highly prevalent condition among youth ages 4-17 with the parents of as many as 4.4 million youth reporting a history of ADHD diagnosis. Of these, more than half (2.5 million) of youth were receiving medication treatment at the time of the survey. Rates of reported diagnosis and current medication treatment varied by state and socio-demographic characteristic. CDC will continue to investigate the variability noted in this report. Efforts to augment current national data collection are needed to better characterize ADHD diagnostic and treatment patterns across the U.S.
This is the first report to estimate national and state-based rates of medication treatment for ADHD using a nationally representative sample of U.S. families. The findings indicate that 7.8 percent (4.4 million) of U.S. youth 4-17 years of age had a reported ADHD diagnosis by 2003. More than half of the youth (2.5 million) with a history of ADHD diagnosis were being treated with medication at the time of the survey. Rates of reported diagnosis and current medication treatment varied by state and socio-demographic characteristic. Questions remain about the long-term health risks and benefits associated with medication as well as other treatments for ADHD. Given the substantial population of youth affected by the disorder, further study of ADHD treatment modalities and associated outcomes is warranted.
Children and Teens Told by Doctors That They Were Overweight ― United States, 1999-2002
A large majority of overweight children and teens, and/or their parents are not being told by their doctors that they are overweight. This results in a lost opportunity to help these children and their families adopt healthier lifestyles.
Nearly two thirds of overweight children, teens, and/or their parents report never being told by their doctors that they are overweight. Very young children between the ages of 2 and 5 years are less likely to be informed of their weight status, while doctors are much more likely to talk to their overweight teenage patients. Also, overweight African-American girls are told more often than overweight white girls. Since knowledge of being overweight may be the first step in having these children and their families adopt healthier lifestyle choices, it is important that providers discuss overweight status with their patients. Overweight among children has nearly tripled in the past 30 years. Now over 9 million children in the United States are overweight.
Update: Influenza Vaccine Supply and Recommendations for Prioritization During the 2005-06 Influenza Season
No Summary Available.
Update: West Nile Virus Activity ― United States, 2005
No Summary Available.
This page last reviewed September 1, 2005
Disease Control and Prevention