Valley low in County Health Rankings


VALLEY — Douglas County ranks healthiest in Colorado and Costilla County least healthiest, according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings, released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org

According to the 2018 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in Colorado, starting with most healthy, are Douglas County, followed by Boulder County, Broomfield County, Eagle County, and San Miguel County. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Costilla County, Huerfano County, Saguache County, Otero County, and Crowley County.

San Luis Valley county rankings out of 58 counties (six counties were not ranked including Mineral County), according to the rankings, were: Alamosa County, 51; Conejos County, 50; Costilla County, 58; Rio Grande County, 47; and Saguache County, 56.

See separate information. Not all of the categories are listed. See the web site listed above for complete information.

The rankings compare counties within states,indicating that where people live influences how well and how long they live. The data indicate that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education, and jobs. This year’s new Rankings State Reports show gaps in health not only by place, but also by race and ethnicity.

The new Rankings State Reports call attention to key drivers of health such as children in poverty.The Colorado State Report reveals that in Colorado, 13 percent of children live in poverty, compared to the U.S. rate of 20 percent.

“Disparities in opportunity – especially in childhood – lead to disparities in health, and this is a concern for every Colorado county, regardless of rank.” said Yvonne Long, president of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials and executive director of Garfield County Public Health. “With support from the state and their neighboring communities, counties can determine for themselves how to address this and other health challenges. That’s why committed residents across the state are coming together this year with their local public health agencies, schools, hospitals, and leaders in business and government to assess their community’s health and plan for improving it. The best way Coloradans can help is to contact their local public health agency and get involved.”

“We can’t be a healthy, thriving nation if we continue to leave entire communities and populations behind,” added Richard Besser, MD, RWJF president and CEO. “Every community should use their County Health Rankings data, work together, and find solutions so that all babies, kids, and adults – regardless of their race or ethnicity – have the same opportunities to be healthy.”

“The time is now to address long-standing challenges like child poverty,” said Julie Willems Van Dijk, PhD, RN, director of County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. “This year’s rankings are a call to action to see how these persistent health gaps play out locally, take an honest look at their root causes, and work together to give everyone a fair shot at a healthier life.”

Colorado’s local public health agencies conduct community health assessments and develop improvement plans at least every five years, and 2018 is an assessment year for most counties.

Conejos County

Rank 50 of 58

                                           Conejos   State  

Adults reporting poor or fair health                       23%    14%   

Poor physical health days in last month                 4.4         3.4  

Poor mental health days in last month                4.1       3.6    

Low birth weight                                                      10%    9%     

Adult smoking                                                           17%    16%   

Adult obesity                                                             24%    21%   

Physical inactivity (percentage of adults 20 and older reporting no leisure time physical activity)                                                  21%   15%   

Access to exercise opportunities                             22%    91%   

Excessive drinking reported                                                15%    21%   

Alcohol-impaired driving deaths                             0%      35%   

Teen births (births per 1,000 female population ages 15-19)                          

39       24      

Uninsured                                                                  11%    9%     

Primary care physicians ratio to population          2,030:1     1,240:1   

Dentists ratio to population                                     8,130:1     1,290:1   

Mental health providers ratio to population         8,130:1     330:1      

High school graduation                                            85%    77%   

Some college                                                              58%    71%   

Unemployment                                                         4.9%   3.3%  

Children in poverty                                                  30%    13%   

Children in single-parent households                    20%    28%   

Violent crime per 100,000                                      44       309    

Injury deaths per 100,000                                      102     74      

Severe housing problems (Percentage of households with at least 1 of 4 housing problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, or lack of kitchen or plumbing facilities.)                                                                     16%    17%   

 

 

Saguache County

Rank 56 of 58

                                           Saguache   State

Poor or fair health                                                    21%    14%   

Poor physical health days                                        4.5       3.4      

Poor mental health days                                          4.2       3.6      

Low birth weight                                                       14%    9%     

Adult smoking                                                           18%    16%   

Adult obesity                                                             22%    21%              

Physical inactivity                                                     17%    15%   

Access to exercise opportunities                             48%    91%   

Excessive drinking                                                    14%    21%   

Alcohol-impaired driving deaths                             27%    35%   

Teen births                                                                42       24      

Uninsured                                                      20%    9%     

Primary care physicians                               2,080:1   1,240:1     

Dentists                                                          6,390:1   1,290:1     

Mental health providers                              1,600:1 330:1         

High school graduation                                95%    77%   

Some college                                                  55%    71%   

Unemployment                                             4.9%   3.3%  

Children in poverty                                      39%    13%   

Children in single-parent households        21%    28%              

Violent crime                                                 211     309    

Injury deaths                                                 115     74      

Severe housing problems                            19%    17%   

 

 

Rio Grande County

Rank 47 of 58

                                           Rio Grande   State        

Poor or fair health                                        17%    14%   

Poor physical health days                            3.8       3.4      

Poor mental health days                              3.6       3.6      

Low birth weight                                           10%    9%     

Adult smoking                                               14%    16%   

Adult obesity                                                 23%    21%              

Physical inactivity                                         17%    15%   

Access to exercise opportunities                 78%    91%   

Excessive drinking                                        16%    21%   

Alcohol-impaired driving deaths                 6%      35%   

Teen births                                                    44       24      

Uninsured                                                      13%    9%     

Primary care physicians                               960:1 1,240:1         

Dentists                                                          1,910:1 1,290:1      

Mental health providers                              3,830:1 330:1         

High school graduation                                78%    77%   

Some college                                                  61%    71%   

Unemployment                                             5.1%   3.3%  

Children in poverty                                      28%    13%   

Children in single-parent households        24%    28%   

Violent crime                                                 153     309    

Injury deaths                                                 113     74      

Severe housing problems                            19%    17%   

 

 

Alamosa County

Rank 51 of 58

                                                           Alamosa County State

Poor or fair health                                        20%    14%   

Poor physical health days                            4.1       3.4      

Poor mental health days                              4.1       3.6      

Low birth weight                                           11%    9%     

Adult smoking                                               17%    16%   

Adult obesity                                                 21%    21%              

Physical inactivity                                         17%    15%   

Access to exercise opportunities                 82%    91%   

Excessive drinking                                        17%    21%   

Alcohol-impaired driving deaths                 22%    35%   

Teen births                                                    29       24      

Uninsured                                                      13%    9%     

Primary care physicians                               920:1  1,240:1          

Dentists                                                          880:1  1,290:1          

Mental health providers                              70:1    330:1 

High school graduation                                79%    77%   

Some college                                                  64%    71%   

Unemployment                                             4.1%   3.3%  

Children in poverty                                      29%    13%   

Children in single-parent households        29%    28%   

Violent crime                                                 62       309    

Injury deaths                                                 110     74      

Severe housing problems                            17%    17%   

 

 

Saguache County

Rank 58 of 58

                                                                       Saguache   State      

Poor or fair health                                        29%    14%   

Poor physical health days                            4.8       3.4      

Poor mental health days                              4.4       3.6      

Low birth weight                                           16%    9%     

Adult smoking                                               19%    16%   

Adult obesity                                                 22%    21%   

Physical inactivity                                         24%    15%   

Access to exercise opportunities                 51%    91%   

Excessive drinking                                        12%    21%   

Alcohol-impaired driving deaths                 10%    35%   

Teen births                                                    31       24      

Uninsured                                                      16%    9%     

Primary care physicians                               1,030:1 1,240:1      

Dentists                                                          3,720:0 1,290:1      

Mental health providers                              3,720:1   330:1        

High school graduation                                95%    77%   

Some college                                                  45%    71%   

Unemployment                                             4.9%   3.3%  

Children in poverty                                      43%    13%   

Children in single-parent households                    36%    28%   

Violent crime                                                 156     309    

Injury deaths                                                 100     74      

Severe housing problems                            18%    17%   

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