STATCAST – Week of May 27, 2019

New NCHS Reports Look at Dental Care Among U.S. Adults Aged 65 and Older, NHIS Full-Year Data, and Opioids Prescribed or Given at Emergency Departments


Three new publications were issued by NCHS this week, on a wide range of topics. On Wednesday, a study on the dental health of Americans age 65 and over was released, and showed that while two-thirds of this group had a dental visit in the past year, nearly 8% had some type of dental care they needed but couldn’t get because of cost. The data in this analysis came from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey.

On Thursday, the NHIS released its full-year 2018 data on several different health measures, including: access to medical care, general health status, assistance with personal care, obesity, physical activity, serious psychological distress, flu and pneumonia vaccination, smoking and alcohol use, and prevalence of diseases such as asthma and diabetes. The release also featured the latest data on HIV testing among adults, showing that 42.7% of adults had been tested for HIV in 2018 – higher than in 2017 and in previous years. These health indicators are updated with new data every quarter, as part of the NHIS “Early Release” program.

On Friday, NCHS published an analysis of emergency department visits in which opioids were prescribed or given. The analysis used data from the 2016 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, and showed that adults ages 18 to 44 were more likely than older adults to be given opioids at discharge, whereas older adults were more likely than adults under age 45 to be given opioids only in the emergency department.