· Family planning – Increased use of contraceptives, education and other factors mean Americans face fewer unintended pregnancies and are far more likely to achieve desired birth spacing and family size.
· Tobacco as a health hazard – During 1964-1992, approximately 1.6 million deaths caused by smoking were prevented thanks to substantial public health smoking cessation efforts.
· Motor vehicle safety – The United States has seen a huge reduction in deaths from motor vehicle crashes, which represents the successful public health response to a great technologic advancement, the motorization of America. The response has spanned government, public health, and driver and passenger behavior.
· Decline in deaths from heart attack and stroke – Although heart attacks and strokes are still the country’s top killers, the public health community has helped achieve remarkable declines in deaths from both diseases. Since 1950, deaths from cardiovascular disease have declined 60 percent, and stroke rates have declined 70 percent.
· Decline in deaths from infectious disease – In the early 20th century infectious diseases were the leading causes of death in the U.S. Thanks to clean water, food safety, sanitation and vaccinations, those deaths have decreased dramatically.
· Public health action – Scientific and technologic advances have played a major role in reducing, and in some cases eliminating, the spread of infectious disease, and in establishing today’s disease surveillance and control systems.
· Healthier mothers and babies – Infant and maternal mortality rates have decreased in the United States. Environmental interventions, improvements in nutrition, advances in clinical medicine, improvements in access to health care, improvements in surveillance and monitoring of disease, increases in education levels and improvements in standards of living contributed to this remarkable decline.
Resources on all of these topics can be found in our library. Search our online catalog for reports, statistics, fact sheets, and much more on these and other Colorado public health topics.