Concord, NH – Rockingham County ranks healthiest in New Hampshire and Coos County is the least healthy county in the State for the second year in a row, according to the eighth annual County Health Rankings, recently released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The County Health Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.
“The conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play and age affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. This annual report provides the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services with local level data to help us understand the health of residents across our State,” said Lisa Morris, Director of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services. “Each county has their own unique challenges and strengths, and we will continue working with local partners to help address the top challenges in their communities.”
The Rankings are a state-by-state look at health outcomes, health factors, and policies and programs. Data on each measure, such as access to healthcare, tobacco use, income levels, premature birth, obesity, child poverty, teen births, sexually transmitted infections, and alcohol and drug use, are analyzed and used to rank the individual counties. According to the 2017Rankings for overall health outcomes, which measures how long people live and how healthy they feel while alive, Rockingham County is the healthiest, followed by Carroll, Grafton, Merrimack, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Belknap, Strafford, Sullivan, and Coos counties. As for rankings of health factors, which estimate the future health of counties based on health behaviors, clinical care, social, economic and physical environment factors, Rockingham County ranks first, followed by Grafton, Merrimack, Carroll, Cheshire, Hillsborough, Sullivan, Strafford, Belknap, and Coos Counties.
“Health is not just about what illnesses we have and how long we live,” said Morris. “The community we live in influences the public’s health, such as availability of doctors, crime levels, safe housing, and drinking water access, as well as socioeconomic factors, including income, education level, unemployment levels, and mental health services. We see from this year’s report that drug-related overdose deaths especially among 25- to 44-year-olds are having a significant effect on premature death rates across the country.”
To learn more about the County Health Rankings 2017 findings, go tocountyhealthrankings.org. For more information about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation visit www.rwjf.org. To read more about the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute visit http://uwphi.pophealth.wisc.edu. For information about the DHHS Division of Public Health Services and the Public Health Networks go to www.dhhs.nh.gov.
DHHS is focusing on the County Health Rankings in recognition of National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 3–9. For more information on NPHW, visit www.nphw.org.