How healthy are we?

The CDC’s annual statistical compilation of the country’s health showed gains in some areas even as America’s obesity epidemic continued to expand.

The diabetes rate fell slightly to 10.2 percent in 2005-2006 for people 20 years of age and older. The high blood pressure rate also declined, but nearly one in three American adults continue have the condition that increases their risk of heart attack and stroke. Also down was the number of people with high cholesterol, that fell from 17 percent in 2003-2004 to 15.9 percent in 2005-2006.

At the same time, we continue to get fatter. The obesity rate among adults in increased to 34.2 percent. That was up from 32 percent for the previous two year period, and just under 30 percent in ’99-’00. A decline in the number of adults regularly exercising may have contributed to the our weight problem.

Overall, we are living longer. American men had an average life expectancy of 75.1 years in 2006 and American women 80.2 years. And while the gap between whites and blacks narrowed, the life expectancy for African Americans was an average of five years shorter than white Americans.

Click here for a 15-page summary of the report.