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

2008 Household Health Survey: Select Findings for the Media
Monday. February 23, 2009

2008 Southeastern Pennsylvania

Household Health Survey

Select Data Findings for the Media


Public Health Management Corporation’s Community Health Data Base (CHDB) announces the results of its 2008 Household Health Survey. We provide selected findings below. For data specific to your needs, please contact Jamie Arehart at or 267-350-7699.


In Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) (Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties):*


Access to Healthcare in SEPA

  • 4.2 % of children in SEPA are uninsured, an increase from 2.7% in 2000. Across the nation, 11% of children are uninsured.
  • Men are more likely than women to be uninsured (11.2% vs. 8.7%).
  • Latino, African American and Asian adults (29.8%, 14.5% and 12.0% respectively) are more likely to be uninsured than white adults (5.9%).

Obesity Rising in SEPA*

  • 25.5% of SEPA adults are obese*, an increase from 24.5% in 2006 and 21% in 2000
  • Childhood obesity in the region outstrips the national average with one in five area children being overweight* (19.2%) versus 17% nationwide. Childhood obesity has remained steady in the region since 2006, but increased from 18.7% in 2002, the first year measuring SEPA childhood obesity.


Obesity by Demographic

·       36% of African American adults are considered obese, compared to:

o      26.9% of Latino adults

o      22.4% of White adults


Adult Obesity by County

·       Philadelphia: 29.1%

·       Delaware: 26.8%

·       Bucks: 24.5%

·       Montgomery: 23.5% 

·       Chester: 16.0%


*Obesity among adults and overweight status among children are defined by the BMI scale.


Health Behaviors: Cigarette Smoking

  • In 2008, one out of five adults is calls himself or herself a current cigarette smoker
    • This number has remained steady since 2004, and represents approximately 599,000 adults in SEPA
  • 54% of current smokers attempted to quit smoking at least once last year


Smokers by Demographic:

  • 26.1% of smokers are African-American
  • 21.2% are Latino
  • 18.6% are White
  • 14.9% are Asian



  • 11.3% of adults have cut meal sizes or skipped meals in the previous year due to lack of money—an increase from 8.5% in 2006. 
  • Those living in greater poverty are more likely to have to cut or skipped meals:
    • 32.7% of adults living below 100% Federal Poverty Level cut or skipped meals
    • 23.2% living between 100% and 150% cut or skipped meals
    • 19.4% living between 150% and 200% cut or skipped meals
    • 6.4 % living between 200% cut or skipped meals

Preventive Cancer Care

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. In SEPA:

  • 27.3% of area women, age 18 and older, did not receive a breast exam, which has remained steady from 2006 data.
  • 33.4% of area women, age 18 and older, did not receive a pap smear in the past year, which has remained steady from 2006 data
  • 33.7% of area women, age 40 and older, did not receive a mammogram, decreasing from 35% in 2006.
  • 12% of men age 50 and older have never had a prostate exam; this represents approximately 78,000 men


Chronic Conditions

Similar to national trends (NCHS, 2007), the prevalence of key chronic health conditions has continued to increase in our region over the past eight years:  

·       One in three area adults have high blood pressure (30.2%), a slight increase from 29.6% in 2006 and 26.1% in 2000

·       10.4% of area adults have diabetes, a slight increase from 9.7% in 2006 and 6.9% in 2000


Children & Asthma

  • About one in five children in SEPA have asthma
  • Of these children, one-third made a asthma-related visit to a hospital emergency department at least once in the past year


Asthma among children by county:

·       Philadelphia: 22.8%

·       Delaware: 17.5%

·       Chester: 15.1%

·       Montgomery: 14.3%

·       Bucks: 13.9%



Nearly half of SEPA adults found their monthly housing costs somewhat or very difficult to afford in the past year. Renters are more likely to experience difficulty with payments.

  • 60.3% of renters struggled with  monthly housing costs
  • 44.5% of homeowners struggled with monthly housing costs


Older Adults and Housing

  • The majority of adults 65+ (70%) prefer to remain in their current homes for the next 10 years or longer; this represents approximately 329,000 older adults.
  • 26% of older adults who rent their homes hope to move in the next 5 years
  • 16% of older adults who are homeowners hope to move in the next 5 years


*For one year only, in 2008, CHDB compiled its Household Health Survey in Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill counties, for that information, please contact Jamie Arehart at or 267-350-7699.


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Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that builds healthier communities through partnerships with government, foundations, businesses and community-based organizations. It fulfills its mission to improve the health of the community by providing outreach, health promotion, education, research, planning, technical assistance, and direct services. PHMC has served the Greater Philadelphia region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit