Johns County is healthiest in state

Report: Guilford County 29th healthiest in state

Disparities persist in health of Marylanders, ranking says

The state's counties coded by how the ranked for health outcomes in the rankings.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute collaborate to release an annual County Health rankings Report.

The report also shows that 26 percent of adults report binge or heavy drinking in Carver County which is higher than the state average, according to the release.

Specifically, Saratoga ranked #1 in health outcomes - "how long people live and how healthy people feel while alive".

Health behaviors is a sector in which Madison County improved over the previous year, with the rates of adult smoking (20 percent) and adult obesity (33 percent) each improving by a percentage point or two.

Drug overdose is the single leading cause of premature death, with its greatest effect being felt in large suburban metro counties. 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.

Counties are ranked in two ways: Health outcomes are based on length and quality of life (Chester County was No. 1 in the state).

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.

"From 2000 to 2015, more than half a million people died from drug overdoses" nationwide, with the steepest increase from 2009 to 2015, the report said.

In St. Johns County, which is Florida's healthiest county for the sixth straight year, 90 percent of residents are high school graduates and 77 percent have some college.

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. Rates of youth disconnection are higher in rural counties (21.6 percent), particularly those in the South and West, than in urban ones (13.7 percent).

The report also highlights the disparities between the health status of counties in the state as the three counties ranked lowest in the state were also in the Third District. The survey shows 22 percent of children in the county, live in poverty.

The rankings in some categories - even for adjacent counties adjacent - vary widely.

"(Social determinants of health) impact where we learn, play, work, worship - everything about where we live can impact our health", Cox said.

There are now about 4.9 million - that's one in eight - who make up disconnected youth.

"Communities addressing issues such as poverty, unemployment, and education can make a difference creating opportunities for all youth and young adults".

The overall improvement by the county pleased Angela Weidman, Chippewa County public health director.

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