March 17, 2016

Disparity In Indiana Counties Health Rankings

INDIANAPOLIS - For the seventh year in a row, Hamilton County has the highest health ranking in the state and Scott County has the lowest according to data released this week. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or RWJF, and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute release health rankings for every state, by county, annually. The report takes a look at a wide variety of factors including behavior, clinical care, the physical environment and social and economic conditions.

Senior Program Officer at the RWJF, Amy Slonim says the annual rankings are kind of like a checkup.

"To bring attention to the broad view of influences on health in communities all across Indiana." Said Slonim.

Statewide, about a third of Indiana residents are obese. Indiana also had a greater average of sexually transmitted infections and violent crime than the national median.

Slonim says the data also highlights health trends in specific populations. For example, the number of premature deaths are going down in urban counties and rising in rural ones.

The report links this disparity to high rates of smoking, children in poverty and preventable hospital stays. These rates are high in all low performing counties in Indiana. S/0

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