Study Finds Large Health Disparities Between Counties


Source: Philanthropy News Digest

While Americans overall are living longer and healthier lives, large gaps remain between the healthiest and least healthy counties, a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute finds.

Now in its fifth edition, the 2014 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps ranked counties by health outcomes — length and quality of life — as well as twenty-nine health factors, which this year included new measures for housing, injury-related deaths, mental health, opportunities for exercise, and access to healthy foods. According to the 2014 Rankings Key Findings Report (12 pages, PDF), the counties with the worst health outcomes have twice the rates of premature death, twice as many teen births, and twice as many children living in poverty as the counties with the best outcomes. The study also found that the healthiest counties offer better access to healthy foods, facilities for exercise, primary care physicians, and mental health providers, while the least healthy counties have higher rates of unemployment, violent crime, physical inactivity, and inadequate housing. READ MORE >>>