In a commentary published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin points to accomplishments of the National Prevention Council, a gathering of multiple federal departments and agencies whose policies and practices bear on health. The Council highlights health as everyone’s business and illustrates how all sectors of society can contribute to improving the social, environmental, and economic conditions that influence health outcomes.
The Council’s 2013 Annual Status Report shows positive trends in some leading health indicators. Among the highlights are decreases in:
- youth ages 3 to 11 exposed to secondhand smoke;
- the number of adolescents who are current smokers;
- the rate of coronary heart disease deaths;
- stroke deaths; and
- overall cancer deaths.