Report Names Healthiest, Least Healthy California Counties

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On Wednesday, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute released their annual analysis of the healthiest and least healthy counties in California and other states, the Fresno Bee reports (Fresno Bee, 3/26).

Details of Analysis

To develop the 2014 County Health Rankings for health outcomes, researchers analyzed data on:

  • Length of life; and
  • Quality of life.

For rankings on health factors, researchers analyzed data on:

  • Clinical care, such as access to primary care physicians, insurance rates and preventable hospital stays;
  • Health behaviors, such as tobacco use and obesity;
  • Social and economic factors, such as unemployment and crime rates; and
  • Physical environment, such as housing problems and air pollution.

California Findings

In California, the highest-ranking counties for both health outcomes and health factors were:

  • Marin, which ranked first in the state; and
  • Placer, which ranked second.

The lowest-ranking counties were:

Reaction

In a release, Mary Pittman -- CEO of the Public Health Institute, which helps publicize the analysis -- said the report provides "a much-needed wake-up call about the health disparities that persist across California, and particularly the challenges faced by rural counties."

Pittman added, "These disparities were years in the making and won't be reversed overnight" (Bonnett, Lodi News-Sentinel, 3/27).


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