The 2017 County Health Rankings were released this week and continue to show us that where we live influences how well and how long we live.
The 2017 County Health Rankings were released this week and continue to show us that where we live influences how well and how long we live. Good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education, jobs, access to healthy foods, and more. This year the Rankings took a closer look at premature deaths – or deaths that occur among people under age 75. This year’s report finds that drug overdose deaths are fueling a dramatic increase in premature deaths nationally because of an increase in deaths among 15 to 44 year olds. From 2014 to 2015, 85 percent of the increase in premature deaths can be attributed to a swift increase in deaths among these younger populations. On a positive note, premature deaths related to heart disease and cancer are either on the decline or level with past years—especially among 35-44 year olds. The County Health Rankings also examine for the first time the number of youth who are either out of work or not in school in a new measure called disconnected youth. Every county can see where they stand when it comes to health of their citizens by visiting countyhealthrankings.org.