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Community Health Data Base
An Information Service of the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation

Mid-Decade Report: A Selection of Findings
Thursday. June 1, 2006


The Community Health Data Base is pleased to announce the release of our most recent report, Health Status of Southeastern Pennsylvania Residents at Mid-Decade.  The report charts health trends in Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) from 1994 to 2004, using data from six of Philadelphia Health Management Corporation’s Household Health Surveys (1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004).  Overall, the report found that despite rapid advances in medical treatment and technology, and increased access to healthcare, at mid-decade a lack of insurance and personal health behaviors continue to cause serious health problems for many adults and children in SEPA. 

The following is a selection of findings on health trends relating to access to care, health risk factors, and preventive screenings among adults and children in the five-county SEPA area.  The full report also includes trends and disparities related to physical and mental health conditions, prescription coverage, tobacco and alcohol use and other health behaviors, as well as comparisons between the health of SEPA residents and the Healthy People 2010 objectives.  For a copy of the Executive Summary (PDF), click here


Adults without health insurance

Nationally, 15.7%, or 45.8 million persons, do not have either private or public health insurance coverage (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004). In Pennsylvania, approximately 12% of residents lack health insurance coverage.  At mid-decade in Southeastern Pennsylvania, more than 200,000 adults or 7.4% of all adults, do not have any public or private health insurance.  An additional 7.2% of adults in 2004 were uninsured at some point in the past year.   Between 1994 and 1998, the percentage of adults without health insurance coverage in the region began to decline, but increased between 2000 and 2004 (Figure 1).  

Children without health insurance

Currently in SEPA, approximately one-in-twenty children (4.8%) does not have any health insurance coverage—representing over 45,000 children in the area. While the percentage of children in the region without health insurance coverage has fluctuated over time, there has been an increase since 2000 (Figure 1).  Among children who are insured in SEPA, currently 3.9% of them (or about 35,000 children) are insured through CHIP.

No source of care among adults

In Southeastern Pennsylvania at mid-decade, 333,900 adults do not have one place or person they usually go to when they are sick or want advice about their health*—representing more than one-out-of-ten adults (11.4%) in the region. Since 2000, the percentage of adults ages 18 years and older without a regular source of care has increased by 25%, leaving an additional 80,000 adults in the region without a personal healthcare provider or resource.


Overweight and obesity among adults

Nearly one quarter (23.1%) of U.S. adults are obese with a BMI of 30 or over.  In SEPA at mid-decade, more than one-fifth (22.8%) of adults (653,900 adults), are obese—exceeding the Healthy People 2010 target of 15%. The percentage of obese adults in the region has increased by 9% since 2000, when 20.7%, or 577,000 adults, were obese.  An additional one-third of adults in SEPA (35.6%) are overweight. Combined, nearly three-fifths of adults in the SEPA region (58.4%) are either overweight or obese (Figure 2).

Overweight among children

In SEPA, more than one-fifth of children of comparable age groups (22.4%) are overweight. An additional 14.3% of children ages 6 years and older are considered at-risk for overweight in the SEPA area.9 Combined, approximately 214,000 children in Southeastern Pennsylvania (36.7%) are either at-risk for overweight or are overweight.


Clinical Breast Exam and Mammogram

At mid-decade in SEPA, more than one-quarter of women ages 18 years and older (27.7%) did not have a clinical breast exam in 2004.  This percentage is similar when compared to 1994 (27.3%).  The percentage of women ages 40 years and older who have not had a mammogram in the past year (35.8%) has decreased since 1994, when 44.4% of age-appropriate women did not receive a mammogram.

Prostate Screening

It is recommended that men ages 50 years and older receive a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test or rectal exam to screen for prostate cancer.   At mid-decade in the five-county SEPA region, more than one-third (36.5%) or 285,100 men ages 50 years and older, did not receive this screening for prostate cancer.


Download the entire Mid-Decade Report to find out more about these health issues and others.  Questions?  Please contact Francine Axler at or Allegra Gordon at

* Adults 18 years of age and older were asked the following question: “Is there one person or place you usually go to when you are sick or want advice about your health?”

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