Selected Health Indicators in North Dakota

In 1990, the U.S. Public Health Service published Healthy People 2000, a compilation of national health promotion and disease prevention goals for the year 2000. In March 1994, the North Dakota Department of Health published the Healthy North Dakota 2000 report which compares North Dakota with the Healthy People 2000 objectives.

This report includes information on health indicators selected from the Healthy People 2000 report. This list is by no means exhaustive, but indicators were chosen based on two major criteria:

  1. The indicators are tracked nationally and include goals established by Healthy People 2000.
  2. A reliable surveillance system is in place to track the data.

Comparing North Dakota data with national data for these indicators assess North Dakota's health status in relation to the nation.

The U.S. comparisons are based on three year averages (1990­1992) using the most current data available. National diabetes comparisons are based on 1992 data. North Dakota comparisons are based on five year averages (1990­1994) that are used to minimize the fluxuation of annual rates that occur when small numbers are used to calculate rates. The charts show the actual rates during specified time periods to indicate trends.

A reliable surveillance system is often taken for granted. Maintaining surveillance systems take time, effort, and money. However, it is important to remember that reliable and timely data are necessary for policymaking and determining how to allocate North Dakota's resources.

Another issue considered when choosing the health indicators in this report was whether or not intervention could positively influence future outcomes. Many chronic diseases and injuries may be prevented by a healthy lifestyle or alleviated by early detection and treatment. Some of these behavior choices can also be encouraged by enacting laws that support healthy behavior (e.g., use of child safety seats in automobiles).

The issue of health care services was chosen for this report because of its contribution to health status. The emphasis of health care has changed from "illness" care to "health" care and is reflected, to some degree, in the way health care services are delivered. Many of the Healthy People 2000 goals encourage the use of "health" care services (such as mammograms and early prenatal care) to improve health outcomes.

This report illustrates how healthy North Dakota is today and where North Dakota would like to be in the year 2000. It also shows areas where North Dakota can improve.

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Last Updated: Thursday, May 23, 1996, 10:36:23 AM
Allen Johnson - ND Health Dept. DP Coordinator -