5:19pm

Wed March 20, 2013
Health and Welfare

County-by-County Health Rankings Released

Frankfort - Oldham County has the healthiest residents in Kentucky, according to the fourth annual County Health Rankings released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

This annual report takes a look at multiple factors that influence the health of communities and assesses counties’ health outcomes and health factors, such as lifestyle and access to care, that also impact health and wellbeing. This is the second year in a row Oldham County has led the list for health outcomes.

“This report demonstrates public health successes and highlights opportunities for improvement in counties across the state,” Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield Gibson, M.D., said in a news release. “It helps us understand the factors leading to health in different parts of the state and how those factors result in various patterns. This information can be used to frame further community discussions as we move forward in building a healthier Kentucky. ”

The rankings take into consideration health outcomes, such as illness and death rates, as well as factors that influence health, like smoking, access to health care, socioeconomic status and physical environment.

According to the 2013 Rankings, the five counties in Kentucky that ranked highest for health outcomes are Oldham, followed by Boone, Shelby, Lyon, and Spencer. The five counties in Kentucky with the highest health factors are Oldham, Woodford, Boone, Fayette and Scott.

“We all have a stake in creating a healthier community and no single sector alone can tackle the health challenges in any given community,” said Patrick Remington, MD, MPH, professor and associate dean at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “Collaboration is critical. The Rankings are sparking action all over the country as people from all sectors join forces to create new possibilities in health — county by county.”

Floyd County was ranked 120th by the survey when it came to rating residents' health. Perry County was ranked 119th, followed by Breahitt County, Wolfe County, Lee County and Pike County, which was ranked 115th.

The report examined numerous health factors that affect health within four categories: health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. Some specific factors of study included: rates of adult smoking, adult obesity, excessive drinking among adults, and teenage births. The report also assessed issues such as the number of uninsured adults, availability of primary care providers, children in poverty and preventable hospital stays. More information can be found at www.countyhealthrankings.org.