The rate of MRI and CT/PET scans—either ordered or provided—tripled between 1996 and 2007, according to the federal government's 33rd annual report to the president and Congress on the nation's health.
Prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, the report includes a special feature on the use of medical technology, which the agency said rose sharply. For example, for all age groups in 1996, out of 100 visits to physician offices and outpatient departments, 3.9 visits resulted in MRI/CT/PET scans being ordered or provided compared with 12.6 per 100 visits in 2007.
The study said overall U.S. life expectancy was 77.9 years in 2007, while life expectancy at birth increased more for blacks than whites between 1990 and 2007, narrowing the gap between these two racial groups. Smoking in the U.S. decreased slightly, as the study said 20% of U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers in 2007 compared with 21% in the three previous years. The report also said men were more likely to smoke than women: 22% vs. 17%.
Meanwhile, the study reported that 30% of adults in 2005 and 2006 said they often or almost always had trouble sleeping in the last month, while 47% of the population reported taking at least one prescription drug during the previous month between 2003 and 2006 compared with 38% between 1988 and 1994.