Adults age 45 years of age and older

  • Chronic diseases are a major health issue in Missouri with five chronic diseases (diseases of the heart, all cancers combined, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases and diabetes) accounting for almost seven of every 10 deaths annually. Although mortality rates for heart disease and stroke have declined, Missouri’s rates from these two diseases as well as all cancers combined and chronic lower respiratory diseases remain higher than the national average.i,ii
  • Nationally it is estimated that 80% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 50% have at least two.iii A significant proportion of Missouri’s population, 773,171 (13.3%), is aged 65 years or older.iv Based on these population estimates, almost one of every seven Missourians is age 65 or older and this group will represent over 1 million persons or almost one-fifth of the total Missouri population by 2020.v
  • As shown on the table below, the prevalence of risks and chronic diseases is higher in most cases for older Among Missouri adults, 65 years and older, 54.8% report that they have high blood pressure, and 17.4% report they have diabetes; these are much higher rates than 27.3% and 7.4%, respectively, reported for adults 18 years and older. When compared to the U.S. rates, Missouri is higher in physical inactivity, eating less than five fruits and vegetables daily, smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure.
  • There is little regional variation in the prevalence of risk factors and chronic diseases in Missouri. Only the Southeast region displays significant differences, with higher rates of coronary heart disease (9.4% compared to 4.8% state prevalence), arthritis (38.8% compared to 32.1% state prevalence), and activity limitation due to physical, mental or emotional problems (28.9% compared to 20.9% state prevalence).vii

Selected Chronic Diseases and Risk Factors In Missouri

Weighted Crude Rates


Age Groups

Age 18+ (%)

45-54 (%)

55-64 (%)

65+ (%)

Myocardial Infarction (MI) or heart attack





Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) or angina















Asthma (current)





Arthritis (some form of)










*May be an under estimation of the percentage of Missouri residents who have had a stroke because telephone survey does not include individuals in nursing homes or other institutions.

Population Segments

Materials have been developed for various segments of the target audience. The formative research for this campaign revealed that Missourians like to see “real and approachable” people that have characteristics similar to them. A wide array of materials are available and being developed with this in mind to improve chances for success in prompting people to take action to improve their health. Materials available were designed to appeal to the following segments of the target audience:

  • Younger vs. older—market research reflects that we view ourselves 10 years younger than our actual age might represent. Several items include pictures of adults that are “looking good” for being 45 years of age and older in order to appeal to that segment of the audience that still see themselves much younger than what there current age may actually represent.
  • Rural vs. urban—there is a mix of pictures to appeal to persons in rural as well as urban settings. Select those that you believe are best suited for your location.
  • Male vs. female—the materials depict a balance of men and women for the various messages. Women health care settings may want to choose posters that reflect primarily women and women with family members.
  • Race and ethnic—African-Americans and Hispanics are included in the mix of pictures uses for the materials. Several of the items are available in Spanish.
  • Those with a chronic disease—staff and contractors are developing materials for those with a chronic disease. These materials will be available by summer 2008.

Contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to give us feedback on the materials and other segments of the target population important to you and your community.

For more information on chronic diseases in Missouri:

Community data profiles are available on various subject areas such as cause of death, chronic diseases, unintentional injuries, prenatal and others. Each community data profile table provides data on 15-30 indicators for the Missouri as a whole or each county/city selected.Information provided includes the number of events, county/city rate, statistical significance, quintile ranking and the state rate. Below are the two specific to chronic diseases:


  1. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. (2007). Deaths: Residents of Missouri, Missouri Information for Community Assessment (MICA). Retrieved August 28, 2007, from
  2. National Center for Health Statistics. (2007, August). National Vital Statistics Reports, 55. Retrieved August 28, 2007, from
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007, April). Healthy Aging: Preserving Function and Improving Quality of Life Among Older Americans. Retrieved August 28, 2007, from
  4. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. (2007). Population estimates for the state Missouri, 2005. Retrieved August 16, 2007, from
  5. Price, T. (1994). Trendletter – Missouri Population Projections: 1990 to 2020. Retrieved January 4, 2007, from
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. (2005 and 2006). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Retrieved August 28, 2007, from and
  7. Homan, S.G., Yun, S., & Zhu, B.P. (2006). Emergency Planning to Address Chronic Health Conditions in Missouri. Jefferson City, MO: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Community and Public Health. Retrieved August 28, 2007, from