California's northern counties ranked highest for overall health in the state, according to a report released Tuesday by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, U-T San Diego reports (Lavelle, U-T San Diego, 4/3).
The study used government data to rank more than 3,000 U.S. counties based on health indicators such as drinking, obesity, physical inactivity, smoking and premature death (Tavernise, New York Times, 4/3).
According to the report, the top five California counties for overall health were:
- Santa Clara;
- San Benito;
- Placer; and
- San Mateo (U-T San Diego, 4/3).
The lowest-ranking California counties for overall health were:
- Siskiyou, ranking 54th.
- Del Norte, ranking 55th; and
- Trinity, ranking 56th.
Some California counties were not ranked (2012 County Health Rankings, 4/3).
State Tobacco Rankings
Julie Willems Van Dijk -- a study researcher -- said that findings show California's tobacco laws are among the toughest in the U.S. According to the report, California had the second-lowest smoking rates in the U.S. after Utah (U-T San Diego, 4/3).