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November 11, 1992

Health Progress in the United StatesResults of the 1990 Objectives for the Nation

Author Affiliations

From the Public Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC (Drs McGinnis and Mason); the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, Mass (Dr Richmond); the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Oklahoma City (Dr Brandt). Dr Windom is a health care consultant in private practice. Drs Richmond, Brandt, Windom, and Mason have served as successive assistant secretaries for health, US Department of Health and Human Services, 1977 to the present.

JAMA. 1992;268(18):2545-2552. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490180077030

ON JUNE 25, 1992, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Louis W. Sullivan released the results of progress toward the nation's health objectives for 1990, culminating a 10-year process to chart a course for our nation's health. In 1979, Healthy People: The Surgeon General's Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention1 introduced and quantified new opportunities for improving the health of Americans through changes in behavioral choices (health promotion), the environment (health protection), and access to screening, immunization, and counseling (clinical preventive services). Specific goals were set for achievement by the year 1990, according to age groups. In 1980, measurable objectives designed to achieve these goals were released in Promoting Health/Preventing Disease: Objectives for the Nation.2 This article summarizes the nation's progress toward those health goals and objectives, reviews the role of the objectives process in offering a sense of the opportunities, and describes the relationship to