Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators: Progress Update

Credit: stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Credit: stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The federal government has issued an interim report this month showing positive progress on Leading Health Indicators. The Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators (LHIs) are a select subset of Healthy People 2020 objectives chosen to communicate high-priority health issues and actions that can be taken to address them. There are 26 LHIs organized into 12 topics. These include Access to Health Services (e.g., number of people with insurance), Clinical Preventive Services (e.g., screening for hypertension, diabetes, colorectal cancer), Environmental Quality (exposure to second-hand smoke), Injury and Violence, Maternal-Infant-Child Health, and Mental Health (suicide rate), to name a few. On April 8, 2014, Healthy People 2020 unveiled a report highlighting the progress made within each of these LHIs through the first third of the decade.

As of March 2014, progress generally has been positive toward achieving the HP2020 targets for the 26 LHIs, with 14 indicators (53.9%) having either met their target or shown improvement:

  • 4 indicators (15.4%) have met or exceeded their Healthy People 2020 targets.
  • 10 indicators (38.5%) are improving.
  • 8 indicators (30.8%) show little or no detectable change.
  • 3 indicators (11.5%) are getting worse.
  • 1 indicator (3.8%) has only baseline data.

About Healthy People

Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to:

  • Encourage collaborations across communities and sectors.
  • Empower individuals toward making informed health decisions.
  • Measure the impact of prevention activities.

Click here to read more about the federal Healthy People initiative.

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