Key Data

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Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Nationwide and Washington State ACEs data for children aged 0-17 is available through the National Survey of Children’s Health.
  • 2018 Washington State Health Assessment includes Adverse Childhood Experiences prevalence data

In Washington State:

  • 685,570 people have diabetes (about 1 out of 11) and is the leading cause of death in our state.
  • 2 million adults have prediabetes (about 1 out of 3).
  • Average medical costs for people with diabetes is about $16,750/year.
  • Diabetes costs Washington State about $6.7 billion a year in indirect healthcare costs and reduced productivity.
  • Nearly 3,000 youth have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • In 2016, there were 44,500 new cases of diagnosed diabetes among adults.
  • For information on prevalence by age, ethnicity, income and education see Health Equity Concerns.

Data Sources:


Status of obesity data collection, sharing, and access:

  • Children and teens
    • In 2016, about 12 percent of children (ages 2-4 years old and receiving WIC services) were obese.
    • In 2016, about 12 percent of 10th graders in Washington’s public schools were obese.
    • Rates for 10th grade obesity rose significantly from 10 percent in 2014 to 12 percent in 2016 after several years of remaining the same. This recent uptick changes the trend from level to rising slowly since 2006.
  • Adults
    • In 2016, about 29 percent of Washington adults were obese (2016 BRFSS) 
    • Adult obesity trends have started to level off over the past few years, however between 2014 and 2016 there was a significant increase from 26 percent to 29 percent.
  • Obesity and weight gain during pregnancy
    • In 2015, about 25% of women were obese prior to pregnancy in 2015. Approximately 48% of all women gained more weight than recommended during pregnancy. Pre-pregnancy obesity and weight gain above the recommended range during pregnancy can increase health risks for mother and child.
  • Prevalence varies by age, ethnicity, income and education (see Health Equity Concerns).

Data sources:

  • The rate of prescription opioid overdose deaths has declined, while the rate of heroin overdoses has increased.*
  • About 330,000 persons 12 years and older in Washington State are estimated to misuse pain relievers.*
  • Nearly 60% of those who inject heroin said they were “hooked on” prescription opiates before they began using heroin.*
  • 66% of drug injectors in Washington reported they would like help stopping or reducing their drug use.*

Sources used:

* Sources:

DOH Death Certificates

National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2015-2016

2015 Drug Injector Health Survey, University of Washington and Public Health-Seattle & King County

UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute 2015 WA State Syringe Exchange Survey


Tobacco use prevalence and harm is hidden by the lack of data for some populations. A lack of data does not mean that disparities do not exist. Some limitations of general population surveys and risk factor surveillance systems include:

  • Exclusion of specific groups of people.
  • Small communities.
  • Grouping of diverse populations.
  • Reliance on self-reported data.

An example of the disparities not captured by general population surveys includes high smoking rates among Asian American communities. The Washington State Department of Health recently solicited and received feedback from community partners on potential improvements to the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) and is assessing the feasibility of including questions on Asian ethnic origin in both of these surveys.

Data monitoring is also a critical issue for LGBT communities. In 2014, Washington State’s HYS added sexual orientation as a demographic variable.

Tobacco use

  • Adult smoking rate (2014 through 2016): 14.7 percent.
  • 10th-grade smoking rate: 6 percent.
  • 10th-grade overall use of products that contain nicotine remains high due to increases in electronic cigarettes and vapor products.

Health burden

  • One in five Washington deaths: Including secondhand smoke, cigarettes cause approximately 17 percent to 19 percent of deaths in Washington State per year.
  • 8,300 Washington residents die from smoking each year.
  • 3,900 Washington youth (under 18) become daily smokers each year.
  • 104,000 Washington youth alive today will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.

Economic burden

  • $5.0 billion in annual economic costs directly caused by smoking.
    • $2.8 billion in annual health care costs caused by smoking.
    • $2.2 billion cost to employers due to lost productivity.

Sources used:

Well Child Visits

Washington State has the goal that children on Apple Health will have annual well child visits at 75th percentile by 2018. As of 2016, children receive well child visits at a rate of 39 percent to 69 percent for children ranging from adolescence to infancy. For more information on current Washington State rates, see the Healthier Washington Dashboard. National health burden, identified by American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control in 2015:

  • In the United States, one in 10 children ages three to 17 have a developmental or behavioral disability including autism, intellectual disability, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
  • Some children do not have developmental disabilities identified as early as possible, due to missing or unscheduled well child visits.
  • Undetected disabilities can influence school readiness, particularly if the child is not screened and treated before age 10.
  • Early intervention and treatment can greatly improve a child’s development from birth to age three.

Sources used: