It’s early enough in 2015 that we’re still busy watching what we eat and working those treadmills to live up to our new year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise and be healthy.
I’m no doctor but it’s safe to say those are all good things.
It turns out that Kent’s Health Department, Kent State University College of Public Health, and the Portage County Health Department agree, and they’ve completed a countywide health assessment that shows how we’re doing in reaching those goals.
It’s like having a countywide physical exam and the doctors say there’s plenty of room for improvement.
The Portage County Community Health Needs Assessment looked at 155 public health indicators — things like obesity, blood pressure, infant mortality, disease rates, etc. — and the experts say that Portage County residents come up short in about 46 of those categories.
The goal is to identify our shortcomings and develop strategies to turn those numbers around.
Here’s a few of the highlights (and lowlights):
– Portage County’s stroke mortality rate is 34 deaths per 100,000. Nationally = 42 deaths/100,000
– Portage County’s coronary heart disease mortality rate is 166 per 100,000, which is 37 times higher than the national average.
– 1 of every 5 persons in Portage County has high blood pressure. Nationally = 1 in 3 persons.
– In Portage County 22% of the population is obese and another 39% are overweight — that means half of the population of the County is carrying around unhealthy weight.
– 75% of the children in Portage County don’t participate in physical activity for at least 20 minutes a day.
– Portage County’s cancer mortality rate is 161 deaths per 100,000. Ohio = 184/100,000.
– Portage County has 30 dentists per 100,000. Ohio = 53 dentists/100,000 and the national average = 60/100,000.
– Portage County has 41 physicians per 100,000.
– In Portage County 28% of the population smokes. National average = 20%.
– In Portage County 1 out of 1,000 people commits suicide.
With all the recent news of measles and mumps making a comeback nationwide because of declining immunization rates, Kent’s Health Commissioner shared the Kent City kindergarten immunization rates which unfortunately confirms the national trends locally.