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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 6, 2011

Iowa Health Fact Book 2011 profiles health and behavior of Iowans

Certain infectious and sexually transmitted disease rates continue to be areas of concern for Iowa's public health, according to data from the 2011 Iowa Health Fact Book.

The University of Iowa College of Public Health, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health, has released the 2011 edition of the book, a broad-ranging report covering the health and health-related behaviors of Iowans.

"With this book, we present a tool that is useful to Iowa's health care providers, health policymakers, public health practitioners, health researchers and members of the media alike," said Jane Pendergast, director of the Center for Public Health Statistics and professor of biostatistics at the UI. "It's a 'one-stop shop' for county- and state-wide data relating to health outcomes, social determinants of health, health behaviors and health care resources."

The fact book assembles health data on areas such as prenatal and infant health, infectious diseases, cancer and other chronic diseases, and injury. Health and social behaviors and population totals and age distributions are also presented. Much of the data are tracked longitudinally so as to follow how Iowans' health and behaviors have changed over time.

Some notable trends in the health of Iowans include:

--Infectious diseases continue to be a concern. The number of reported cases of mumps, salmonella and pertussis (whooping cough) rose significantly in 2010.

--Diagnoses of certain sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia, continue to rise as well.

--More Iowans are developing lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), disturbing trends as tobacco use is the leading modifiable risk factor for these diseases.

--Injuries are the leading cause of death in persons under 34 years of age.

--Cancer was the number one cause of death in Iowa during 2004-2008, the first time in the Iowa Health Fact Book's history that heart disease did not lead the list.

New to this edition of the Iowa Health Fact Book is additional information on state-level health indicators from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and accidental mortality.

Data were collected from state and national sources, including the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Census Bureau. The UI-based State Health Registry of Iowa, the SEER Program of the National Cancer Institute, the Iowa Registry for Congenital and Inherited Disorders, and the Office of Statewide Clinical Education Programs also provided data.

The 2011 edition is the eighth in a series of Iowa Health Fact Book biennial publications. Electronic versions of this and previous reports are available online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications and External Relations, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Bill Barker, 319-384-4277,