dglobalnews.com Lancaster slips to 10th place in annual county health rankings
Published: Thu, March 30, 2017
Medical | By Benjamin Edwards

Lancaster slips to 10th place in annual county health rankings

Lancaster slips to 10th place in annual county health rankings

Examples of community success stories, as well as additional data, are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org/. Another measure is drug overdoses, which totaled 57 in Santa Rosa.

"The County Health Rankings show us that where we live matters to our health", said Kate Konkle, Action Center Team director at the University of Wisconsin, in an email.

"Health is not just about you having a good doctor or you being personally responsible", Spegman said. "At a point in time, it tells us the length of life in a community and can be used as a measure of premature death ... and the quality of life".

In 2015, more than 1.2 million people died prematurely, 39,700 more than in the previous year.

This year's figures showed the county ranked 92nd in physical environment, falling from 73rd last year.

In terms of environmental factors, such as air pollution and driving alone to work, the county came in 23rd. According to the Rankings Key Findings Report, drug overdose deaths are causing a sharp increase in premature deaths nationally due to an increase in deaths among 15- to 44-year-olds. Twenty-two percent of the county's adults reported binge drinking or heavy drinking, compared to 17 percent statewide, according to the report.

In Fayette and Raleigh counties, 36 percent of adults are obese. The rate in Wayne County was 15 percent and the rate in Orleans County was 24 percent. Still, 34 percent of the county's residents are considered obese, 12 percent are uninsured, and 27 percent of children there live in poverty.

Monroe County Health Department Administrator John Wagner could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Ottawa County also did as well or better than the state in 86 percent of the 35 indicators.

This year, the study took a closer look at premature deaths, that is, deaths that occur among people under age 75. Specifically, the rankings show 85 percent of the increase in premature deaths from 2014 to 2015 can be attributed to an increase in deaths among this age group.

Ranked against the state's 92 counties, Allen slipped in almost every measure from a year ago.

The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Quitman, Randolph, Clay, Jefferson and Early. About 4.9 million young people in the USA - 1 out of 8 - fall into this category. That percentage includes the number of households with at least one of four problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, incomplete plumbing facilities and incomplete kitchen facilities.

Allen County ranks lowest (82nd) in the physical environment category.

These young people are a "largely invisible" population that represent an 'untapped social and economic opportunity, ' Marjory Givens, an associate scientist with RWJF's county health program, told USA Today.

It's the lowest rating for Black Hawk since the County Health Rankings, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, were first released in 2010.

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