Aug. 6, 2019
The National Academies today released Criteria for Selecting the Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2030, the first of two reports that will help inform the development of Healthy People 2030 (HP2030). Every 10 years, Healthy People — a federal initiative aiming to improve the health of all Americans — releases a comprehensive list of goals for health promotion and disease prevention at the national, state, and local levels.
Each edition of Healthy People also includes Leading Health Indicators (LHIs), a select subset of objectives related to high-priority health issues. A National Academies committee was asked to comment on the criteria that will be used to choose the LHIs, before HP2030 is finalized and released next year. In a second report expected later this year, the committee will also recommend a slate of LHIs that are aligned with the vision, mission, and overarching goals of HP2030.
The last edition, Healthy People 2020, contained 26 LHIs organized under a range of topics, including environmental quality, physical activity, substance abuse, access to health services, and mental health.
The committee proposed that potential LHIs for HP2030 are subjected to a core set of criteria; and an additional set of criteria, once the pool of possible LHIs is whittled down.
The committee called for HP2030 to incorporate more measures of health equity and collaboration across multiple sectors, given that the factors that shape health outcomes — including education and employment opportunities, food security, and housing — are the responsibility of other government agencies, organizations, and disciplines.The study — undertaken by the Committee on Informing the Selection of Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2030 — was sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services. The National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.