DHHS Releases Latest Progress Report on Prevention

Healthy People 2000 Review, 1995-96 Shows Progress in Almost Half of Objectives

Healthy People 2000 established a national strategy to improve the health of all Americans. Its purpose is to promote health and prevent disease through changes in lifestyle and environmental factors.

Healthy People 2000 set three broad goals:

  • To increase the healthy span of life
  • To reduce health disparities among Americans
  • To achieve access to preventive services for all Americans

To achieve those broad goals, the Healthy People 2000 action plan set 300 specific objectives organized into 22 priority areas. The objectives were developed by bringing together representatives from national, State, and local agencies; academia; research institutions, health organizations, and citizen groups to determine the priorities for prevention over the next decade. Healthy People 2000 builds on efforts of the previous decade to prevent disease by setting goals and objectives to guide the many public health programs and services.

Many States set Healthy People 2000 objectives under the overall framework, but targeted to the specific concerns and issues at the local level. In response to new data, new information, and new science, Healthy People 2000 underwent a midcourse review and, in 1995, additions and modifications to the plan were published in Healthy People 2000: Midcourse Review and 1995 Revisions.

Healthy People 2000 Review, 1995-96, an annual publication of the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the fourth in a series of profiles tracking the Year 2000 Objectives. The report covers the objectives set in 1990 and the additions and modifications that resulted from the midcourse review, for a total of 319 main objectives. Subobjectives address the needs of specific groups in the population.

More than 200 data systems and data sets are used to monitor the objectives and subobjectives. Approximately a third of the objectives have annual data from which to evaluate progress. The progress of over a quarter of the objectives remains difficult to evaluate because data are not available to assess the movement in the measure and a small percent of the objectives lack baseline data.

Beginning with this issue, the Review will focus on special population groups at increased risk of disease, injury, or disability. This year’s report includes a chart section, highlighting a selection of racial and ethnic minority subobjectives, showing the latest data on progress or lack of progress.

Highlights of the Review:

  • At the midpoint of the decade, 8 percent of the objectives have reached or surpassed the Year 2000 targets. Progress toward the targets has been made for another 40 percent of the objectives, however, 18 percent show movement away from the targets. Data for 5 percent of the objectives show mixed results and 3 percent show no change. The progress in just over a quarter of the objectives could not be measured, since either baseline or later data were not available.
  • The priority areas showing the greatest progress toward meeting the objectives are heart disease, stroke, cancer, and unintentional injuries with more than 65 percent of the objectives in those areas showing progress.
  • The age-adjusted death rate for coronary heart disease declined by 16 percent from 1987 to 1993. The death rate for stroke is down by 12 percent. There has been improvement in the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The proportion of people who know their blood pressure values has increased. Mean serum cholesterol level has dropped and there has been an increase in those who have their cholesterol measured. On the other hand, overweight has increased from one-fourth to one-third of the adult population. More adults are taking part in moderate or vigorous physical activity but still a quarter of the population engage in no physical activity.
  • The objectives that show the least progress are those covering diabetes and other chronic conditions, occupational safety and health, physical activity, mental health and mental disorders, and violence and abusive behavior, each with more than a quarter of the objectives showing movement away from the targets.
  • Between 1986 and 1993 , age-adjusted death rates for diabetes-related deaths increased 5 percent for all persons, 30 percent for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and 10 percent for black persons.
  • Since 1991 the proportion of people who experience a limitation in major activity due to chronic conditions has increased for all populations.
  • Minority populations as a group demonstrate a similar degree of progress toward achieving the year 2000 targets as the overall population, however, they show a larger proportion with no progress or moving away from the target. In some areas, notably infant mortality, the gap has widened. Healthy People 2000 Review, 1995-96 is available on the NCHS web site.

For copies or more information, contact the National Center for Health Statistics, 3311 Toledo Road, Hyattsville, Maryland, 20782, or call (301) 458-4800. The full text of Healthy People 2000: Midcourse Review and 1995 Revisions is available on the Healthy People 2000 home page, along with other material and links to related Internet sites. The URL is http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/hp2000.

Healthy People 2000 Review, 1995-96. 208 pp. [PDF – 3.1 MB]