(HealthDay News) – The estimates of selected health measures for 2011, based on National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data, have been released June 19 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Brian W. Ward, PhD, from the NCHS in Hyattsville, MD, and colleagues reviewed 15 selected health measures based on data from the 2011 NHIS, and compared estimates from 1997–2010.

The researchers found that, in 2011, 46.3 million Americans were without health insurance coverage, which was a reduction from 2010 but up from 41 million in 1997. The estimated number was 5.2 million for those younger than 18, down from both 2010 and 1997. At some point during 2011, an estimated 6.5% of the population failed to obtain needed medical care due to cost. Smoking declined from 24.7% in 1997 to 18.9% in 2011, while the prevalence of self-reported obesity in those older than 20 increased steadily to 28.7% in 2011. The percentage of adults aged >18 who met the federal guidelines for aerobic exercise increased to 48.4% in 2011. Among older Americans (aged >65), the prevalence of diabetes was significantly higher compared with those aged 45–54. One-half of those aged 25–44 reported being tested for HIV. In 2011, nearly 87% of the population had a usual place to go for medical care and only 2.4% reported poor health.

According to the NCHS, “the 15 Early Release measures are being published prior to final data editing and final weighting to provide access to the most recent information from NHIS. The estimates will be updated as each new quarter of NHIS data becomes available.”

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