IOM report suggests 20 key indicators of U.S. health

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In a report today, an Institute of Medicine committee suggests policymakers, the media and the public focus on 20 specific health indicators to measure and track the overall health and well-being of Americans. The indicators reflect a range of factors that determine well-being, from smoking and physical activity to life expectancy, per capita health care spending, health insurance coverage and chronic disease prevalence. They will be used on the health section of a Web site being developed by State of the USA Inc. to measure and monitor the nation on a range of issues. "We believe this set of measures, as deployed by the State of the USA project, can help move the nation toward better health," said IOM committee chair George Isham.

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