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California Improves in AIDS, Cancer, Infant Mortality and Other National Health Goals 

Date: 4/6/2015 
Number: 15-026 
Contact: Anita Gore, (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO – California has shown improvement in reducing infant mortality, AIDS, cancers and coronary heart disease, according to a new report on public health indicators released today by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). 

The County Health Status Profiles 2015, released as part of national Public Health Week (April 6-12, 2015), provides statewide and county-level data to help guide the course of health promotion and preventive services. 

For many of the diseases and conditions, California achieved goals established in the Healthy People 2020 national objectives, which serve as a guide to improve the health of people across the nation. 

“The stories told by these data are quite encouraging,” said CDPH Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith, “but we must remember that not all communities have benefited equally from these improvements. Too many people in California still face chronic diseases related to factors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity and the use of tobacco.”  

Highlights of the County Health State Profiles 2015 include:

  • AIDS incidence (among Californians aged 13 and older) decreased, showing an improvement of nearly 28 percent.
  • All cancers age-adjusted death rates (including female breast cancer, colorectal and prostate cancer) improved, with the lung cancer death-rate improving nearly 10 percent.
  • Infant mortality decreased for all races. In particular, Asian/Pacific Islander improved 21 percent, White 13 percent and Hispanic 7 percent. Black infant mortality also declined, with the rate showing an improvement of 17 percent.
  • Births to teen mothers (15 - 19 years old) showed a decrease of 28 percent.
  • Coronary heart disease age-adjusted death rate improved nine percent.
Other areas of improvement that met Healthy People 2020 national objectives include reductions in motor vehicle crashes, homicide, firearm-related deaths, suicide, first trimester prenatal care and breastfeeding initiation. 

While the report highlights progress that’s been made, there are some chronic conditions that have failed to show an improvement. Those include age-adjusted death rates for diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and chronic liver disease.
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