WISCONSINREPORT.COM (12/10/08) - Ozaukee County is the healthiest county in the state, according to the newly released 2008 Wisconsin County Health Rankings. The report is the sixth annual health check-up of the 72 counties and the City of Milwaukee, developed by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The 2008 report brings together over 30 measures of health to summarize the overall health of each county in Wisconsin. The County of Milwaukee, Marquette County, City of Milwaukee, and Menominee County are at the bottom of the list.
The report revealed significant differences between the healthiest places (Ozaukee, Waukesha, Dane, Iowa and Eau Claire counties) and the least healthy places (Menominee County; City of Milwaukee; Marquette, Juneau and Forest counties).
"The health of a community is determined by a number of factors, such as health insurance, smoking rates, high school graduation, and air quality," noted the Institute's director, Dr. Patrick Remington.
The 12-page report used two factors to measure the level of overall health or "health outcomes" by county: the rate of premature death (dying before age 75) and the percent of people who report being in fair or poor health.
The report then analyzes several factors in four major categories that can affect a community's health: health care, health behaviors, social and economic factors and the physical environment.
"The Institute's annual health ranking is an important tool for communities to begin to assess and improve their health," said Robert Golden, MD, Dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
"These reports can be used as a call to action," Golden said.
"While access to high quality health care is key to improving health, we must work together to improve health-related behaviors, to increase the level of education and income for our most vulnerable citizens, and to improve the social and physical environment within Wisconsin," Golden continued.
The health rankings for the Top 25 Health Outcomes includes the following counties, listed in order of their rankings: Ozaukee, Waukesha, Dane, Iowa, Eau Claire, Washington, St. Croix, Outagamie, Portage, Door, Pierce, Marathon, Jefferson, LaCrosse, Oconto, Green, Wood, Dunn, Calumet, Bayfield, Columbia, Grant, Brown, and Kewaunee County.
The Middle 25 Wisconsin county rankings for Health Outcomes: Winnebago, Taylor, Manitowoc, Richland, Sauk, Iron, Polk, Fond du Lac, Chippewa, Shawano, Crawford, Sheboygan, Clark, Dodge, Vernon, Vilas, Lincoln, Buffalo, Pepin, Walworth, Burnett, Waushara, Oneida, Lafayette, Barron, and Trempealeau county.
The Bottom Third Wisconsin county rankings for Health Outcomes: Florence, Sawyer, Langlade, Racine, Rusk, Rock, Douglas, Price, Green Lake, Ashland, Kenosha, Waupaca, Adams, Washburn, Monroe, Jackson, Marinette, Forest, Juneau, Milwaukee County, Marquette, Milwaukee City, and Menominee county.
The same study finds Age-Adjusted Mortality Rates Under Age 75 per 100,000 indicates that Malignant Neoplasms is the number one cause of death in Wisconsin. Rounding out the Top 5 causes of death in the state are Heart Disease or Stroke in second place, followed by, in order, Lower Respiratory Diseases, Motor Vehicle Accidents, and Suicide.