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We’re No. 4 – in N.C. health
Mecklenburg trails Wake, Orange, Union
 
Published Thursday, December 27, 2012 8:20 am
by Herbert L. White

Mecklenburg County is North Carolina’s fourth-healthiest county, according to a study.


United Health Foundation ranked Mecklenburg behind Wake, Orange and Union counties. North Carolina ranks 33rd among states, up two spots from last year, but health issues such as diabetes and low per capita public health funding still pose a serious threat to residents’ health. 


“America’s Health Rankings from United Health Foundation is an incredibly valuable tool for us to clearly understand health trends facing us as a nation and here in North Carolina,” said Dr. John Rennick, medical director for North and South Carolina. “By identifying the key opportunities we face as a state, we can pursue innovative solutions to those opportunities.”


The least-healthiest of N.C.’s 100 counties are in the east – Edgecombe (96), Bladen (97), Halifax (98), Robeson (99) and Columbus (100).


Among the findings:


• North Carolina ranks 33rd in overall health in 2012, up two spots from last year’s rankings


• Vermont is the healthiest state for the sixth year in a row; Mississippi and Louisiana tied for last


• Nationwide, nearly 28 percent of the population is obese and  more than 26 percent get no exercise, resulting in increasing prevalence of diabetes and high blood pressure.


Americans are living longer due to several medical advances, but unhealthy behavior and preventable illness threaten quality of life, according to United Health Foundation’s 2012 America’s Health Rankings.


While premature, cardiovascular and cancer deaths have declined since 1990 by 18.0 percent, 34.6 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, Americans are experiencing troubling levels of obesity (27.8 percent of the adult population), diabetes (9.5 percent), high blood pressure (30.8 percent) and sedentary behavior (26.2 percent of adult population).


According to the rankings, North Carolina has:


• Low prevalence of binge drinking


• Low incidence of infectious disease


• Few poor mental health days and physical health days per month


• Low per capita public health funding


• High prevalence of diabetes


• High infant mortality rate and high prevalence of low birth weight


“2012 rankings reveal that more than two million adults in North Carolina are affected by obesity,” Rennick said.  
The five least healthy states are South Carolina (46), West Virginia (47), Arkansas (48), and Mississippi and Louisiana, which tied for 49th.  
Data for the report come from outside sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association, the FBI, U.S. Department of Education and Census Bureau. A key America’s Health Rankings data source – a telephone survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that accounts for seven of the 24 measures in the index – was changed this year to include cell phone-only households as well as a household-weighting process that better reflects increasing diversity within states.


On the Net:
www.americashealthrankings.org
 
 
 

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