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Rankings compare population health by county

March 22, 2013

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute Wednesday released their latest annual health rankings for U.S. counties based on 25 factors that influence health, including health behaviors, social-economic factors and access to care. While premature death rates are the lowest in 20 years, people in the unhealthiest counties are more than twice as likely as those in the healthiest counties to die prematurely, the organizations said. Among other trends, they said the counties where people don’t live as long and don’t feel as well tend to have the highest rates of smoking, teen births and physical inactivity, as well as more hospital stays for conditions that don’t usually require hospitalization if well managed. Residents living in healthier counties also are 1.4 times more likely to have access to a doctor and dentist than those in the least healthy counties, the groups said. For more, click on: http://tinyurl.com/ygr9fbm.