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March 28, 1986

Health: United States

Author Affiliations

School of Public Health University of Washington Seattle

JAMA. 1986;255(12):1636-1637. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370120114036

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This annual publication for the US Department of Health and Human Services entitled Health: United States is a report to Congress on the health status of the nation. The current volume, for 1984, has dropped the essays on selected topics by experts within the government. In exchange, there has been an extension of the statistical material. Over the years, these surveys were interesting and valuable. Material emerged in them, with appropriate commentary, that was not otherwise readily available. It is to be hoped that they will be continued elsewhere.

The 1984 report opens with a series of about 50 short paragraphs labeled "Highlights." Each contains some snappy facts: from the life table—life expectancy has reached a new high of 74.7 years, and is still 16.8 years at age 65; from general vital statistics— the fertility rate is stable; and from data on health care utilization and resources—15% of people over