2013-05-01 / Community

National study puts area high in health rankings

Wisconsin survey used a range of factors in its report
The Times Record

In a national health ranking of all U.S. counties, Cumberland County was deemed Maine’s second-healthiest and Sagadahoc County its third-healthiest.

According to a study by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the rankings are based on five measures of current death rates and disease. Counties are also ranked on a range of 25 health factors that influence health, such as income, rates of smoking, obesity, teen births, family and social support, high school graduation rates, unemployment, air and water quality, and access to healthy foods.

Highlights from the rankings show Sagadahoc County has the lowest premature mortality rate in Maine, meaning fewer people dying before age 75.

The rate is below the national benchmark, meaning that Sagadahoc’s premature mortality rate is among 300 counties across the United States with the lowest rates. In total, 2,987 counties were rated.

Adult obesity in Sagadahoc is lower than the state rate but still high with 1 of 4 or 25 percent of adults considered obese, and 1 in 5 of adults — 20 percent — reporting they are not getting any leisuretime physical activity.

Hancock County was deemed Maine’s healthiest in the study.

The summaries can be viewed online at www.countyhealthrankings.org or by calling 661-7713.

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