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For Release:
July 14, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Marilyn Riley
(609) 984-7160

DHSS Releases Progress Report on New Jersey's 2010 Health Goals; Some Targets Already Reached, While State Falling Short on Others


          TRENTONNew Jersey’s progress in achieving its 2010 health goals is outlined in a mid-decade update report from the Department of Health and Senior Services, Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D., announced today.

Healthy New Jersey 2010 Update 2005 provides the most recent data available on health objectives in areas ranging from improving maternal and child health, to increasing health care access, to reducing the impact of cancer, HIV/AIDS and cardiovascular disease.   The report was prepared by the department’s Center for Health Statistics.

“We want people from all racial and ethnic groups to enjoy long, healthy lives.   This report measures our progress toward that goal and tells us where we need to focus our efforts to make good health a reality for every one of New Jersey’s residents,” Dr. Jacobs said.

New Jersey has already achieved a number of its health goals and is on track to reach many more,” said Dr. Eddy Bresnitz, deputy commissioner and state epidemiologist.  “Unfortunately, there are many areas where we will probably fall short.”

In late 1999, the department released the original Healthy New Jersey 2010, which set ambitious health goals for New Jersey for the new millennium.  That report examined the health of the overall population as well as the health status of individual racial and ethnic groups.  And it set targets to close the gaps between the health of whites and the health of other racial and ethnic groups.  Priority health areas and objectives were chosen in partnership with health care providers, educators, researchers, consumer advocacy groups, and community organizations.

By setting the state’s health agenda, Healthy New Jersey reports are a valuable resource for many organizations in a position to impact health.  Health care institutions and providers, local organizations, researchers and others can use the information to help set priorities, plan programs and prepare grant applications.

“Achieving our goals will take the combined efforts of many organizations, not just in government,” Dr. Jacobs said.  “And we as individuals must also make the changes we know can lead to better health.”

The Update includes 149 health objectives in 11 major health categories.  The report uses data from many sources, such as birth and death records, communicable disease data and the New Jersey Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey.  The most recent year of data varies depending on the source.   Below are some of the health objectives that have already been met:

·         More than 98 percent of newborns were screened with state-of-the-art tools to detect hearing loss in 2003, compared with only 30 percent in 1998.

·         Middle school students’ cigarette use has declined 68 percent, from 13 percent of students smoking cigarettes in the past month prior to the survey in 1999 to 4.1 percent in 2004. 

·         High school students’ cigarette use has declined by a third, from 36.6 percent currently smoking in 1998 to 24.5 percent in 2001. 

·         Middle school alcohol use has declined 45 percent, from 25 percent drinking in the past month in 1999 to 14 percent in 2003.

·         The birth rate for 15- to 17-year-olds declined 27 percent, from 20.1 births per thousand females in 1998 to 14.7 in 2002. 

·         For 25- to 44-year-olds, the death rate for HIV disease has been reduced by 27 percent, from 19.8 deaths per 100,000 population in 1999 to 14.4 in 2002.

·         The percentage of people age 65 and older who have ever received pneumococcal vaccine stood at 62.4 percent in 2003, an increase of 13 percent over 1999 when 55.1 percent had ever been vaccinated.

It appears that New Jersey will reach a number of objectives by 2010, including:

·         Reducing the overall statewide infant mortality rate.

·         Reducing birth rates for 18- to 19-year-olds, for both all races combined and for black teens.

·         Increasing the percentage of women who abstain from alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy.

·         Reducing the incidence of cervical and rectal cancer.

·         Reducing mortality from prostate, cervical and colorectal cancer.

·         Reducing mortality from coronary heart disease.

·         Reducing the age-adjusted mortality rate from HIV disease.

·         Reducing the incidence of lower extremity amputations and end stage renal disease due to diabetes.

·         Increasing the percentage of young adults using seat belts in cars.

In a number of areas, the 2010 objectives may not be fully achieved, although there may be improvements from baseline levels.  These include:

·         Reducing the percentage of New Jerseyans without health insurance.

·         Reducing the homicide rate among 15- to 19-year-old black males.

·         Increasing the percentage of babies whose mothers received prenatal care, and reducing the percentage of babies born with low birth weight.

·         Reducing the incidence of melanoma.

·         Reducing the percentage of adults binge drinking.

·         Increasing the percentage of women age 65 and older who have Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer.         

The report has been updated to reflect national changes in data reporting.  The 2000 U.S. standard population was used to compute age-adjusted rates and the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems was used to classify mortality data.

Healthy New Jersey 2010 Update 2005 may be viewed on the department’s web site at:

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