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health information national american

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, tracks nationwide health trends and reports its findings in several periodicals, especially its Advance Data series, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Reports, and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports. The CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control provides data about deaths and disability caused by accidents and violence. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) provides a complete statistical overview of the nation's health in its annual Health, United States. The NCHS periodicals National Vital Statistics Reports and Vital and Health Statistics give detailed information on U.S. birth and death data and trends.

The National Health Interview Surveys offer information about the lifestyles, health behaviors, and health risks of Americans. For twenty years the CDC has published Health Risks in the United States: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System—the results of surveys in each state asking American adults questions about a wide range of behaviors affecting their health—mainly how they are linked with the leading causes of death. Working with other agencies and professional organizations, the CDC helped produce Healthy People 2010, the source document that serves as a blueprint for improving the health status of Americans.

The Center for Mental Health Services reports data concerning the nation's mental health status and services in its periodic Mental Health, United States. The National Institute of Mental Health also publishes periodic studies on mental health issues and Science on Our Minds, an online publication.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides definitions, epidemiologic data, and research findings about a comprehensive range of medical and public health subjects. An NIH institute, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) defines and describes a range of unconventional, alternative, and integrative medical practices. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences—"What You Can Do for Yourself Now!"—offers information about environmental health hazards and behaviors that jeopardize health.

The Bureau of the Census, in its Current Population Reports series, details many statistics about Americans, including the status of insurance among selected American households. The Bureau's Fertility of American Women provides the socioeconomic characteristics of women who give birth. Another publication from the Bureau of the Census, Population Projections of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, provides information on the U.S. population.

In response to a request from Congress, in March 2003 the U.S. General Accounting Office gathered information on the variations among state newborn screening programs, including information on criteria for selecting disorders to include in state programs, education provided for parents and providers about newborn screening programs, and state programs' expenditures and funding sources. This resulted in the report "Newborn Screening: Characteristics of State Programs" (2003).

Medical, public health, and nursing journals offer a wealth of disease-specific information and research findings. The studies cited in this edition are drawn from a range of professional publications including the Archives of General Psychiatry, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, Public Health Reports, and Lancet.

The American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts and Figures, 2004 (Atlanta, GA, 2004) provided valuable data as did the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation's Perinatal Profiles: Statistics for Monitoring State Maternal and Infant Health, United States, 2003 Edition. The Alzheimer's Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and the American Diabetes Association also are excellent resources for information on the latest statistics, treatments, and clinical trials. Many other professional associations, voluntary medical organizations, and foundations dedicated to research, education, and advocacy related to other specific medical conditions and disabling diseases proved useful sources for up-to-date information for this edition.

Harris Interactive, a polling agency, also provided timely information regarding Americans' response to specific wellness topics.

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