Hampden County ranks poorly in new public health rankings

Toni Houston
March 30, 2017

McDowell County ranks as West Virginia's least healthy county, according to the 2017 Robert Wood Johnson County Health Rankings.

Each county also has a ranking for health factors, which is a compilation of statistics relating to health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.

The report also shows that one-in-five New Mexicans, or 20 percent, report their health as fair or poor, compared with a US median of 16 percent, according to the 2017 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.

Guilford County residents feel physically or mentally ill about four days per month, and 17 percent of them rank their health as "fair" or "poor". While Douglas County scored well in other social and economic factors, among them education levels and employment rates, the county also reported a fairly wide gap between its highest and lowest earners.

Nationally, the report found that the drug overdose epidemic is one of the leading causes of death among 25-to-44 year olds across the nation.

From 2014 to 2015, the report said 85 percent of the increase in premature deaths can be attributed to a swift increase in deaths among these younger populations.

Miami-Dade and Broward fall way short of being among the healthiest counties in Florida, but they're still in the top one-third of all counties statewide in terms of length and quality of life, according to rankings released Wednesday by two national research groups.

Twenty-one percent of MI residents are smokers, compared to 17 percent nationally, and 20 percent of state residents are "heavy drinkers" compared to 17 percent of people across the country.

She said the report, which was produced with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, highlights problem areas for attention by public health authorities.

A new measure introduced in this year's rankings report, disconnected youth, focused on people between ages 16 and 24 who are not in school or working.

"When I look at the snapshot for Black Hawk, I think the obesity rate is something that is well worth addressing", said Mary Bennett, a community coach with County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.

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

Adult smoking is at 21 percent; Missouri overall is 22 percent.

Sexually transmitted infections have gone up in recent years in Boone County.

"Los Alamos County is a great place - a community that offers something for everyone - from young families to retirees", said U.S. Rep.

The Rankings have become an important tool for communities that want to improve health.

Under the umbrella of the Partnership for a Healthy Community, it's a long-term collaborative effort to improve the overall health of residents in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

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