Medical care ranges from adequate to excellent in the state's largest cities, but many small communities are without doctors and hospitals. Texas suffers from a general shortage of health care personnel: although the number of students enrolled in medical education programs more than doubled during the 1970s, many hospitals were functioning without adequate numbers of registered nurses, laboratory technicians, and therapists in the 1980s.
The infant mortality rate as of 2000 was 5.7 per 1,000 live births. In the same year, there were 80,739 legal abortions, or 18 per 1,000 women, 3rd-highest in the US.
The overall death rate in 2000 was 735.4 per 100,000 population. Texas ranked below the national average in deaths due to heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular diseases, and suicide but above average in deaths from accidents. The leading causes of death in 2000, with their rates per 100,000 population, were heart disease, 211.0; cancer, 163.3; cerebrovascular disease, 52.4; and accidents, 36.3.
The HIV mortality rate was 5.3 per 100,000 population in 2000, equal to the US national rate. A total of 56,730 AIDS cases had been reported through 2001. According to the CDC, 22.0% of Texans 18 years of age and older were regular smokers in 2000.
Texas's 411 community hospitals had 2,461,016 admissions and 56,354 beds in 2001. There were 64,359 full-time registered nurses and 13,650 full-time licensed practical nurses in 2001 and 217 physicians per 100,000 population in 2000. The average expense of a community hospital for care was $1,214.80 per inpatient day in 2001.
Federal government grants to cover the Medicare and Medicaid services in 2001 totaled $7.7 billion; 2,299,599 enrollees received Medicare benefits that year. At least 23.5% of Texas's adult residents were uninsured in 2002, the highest percentage in the US.
There are 8 medical schools, 2 dental colleges, and 64 schools of nursing in the state. The University of Texas has medical colleges at Dallas, Houston, Galveston, San Antonio, and Tyler. The University of Texas Cancer Center at Houston is one of the nation's major facilities for cancer research. Houston is also noted as a center for cardiovascular surgery. On 3 May 1968, Houston surgeon Denton Cooley performed the first human heart transplant in the US.