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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Howard County the healthiest county in Maryland


    As the Republican Congress debates how healthcare should be provided in the United States one reality of our private insurance system needs to be recognized.  That reality is that income is a direct connection with the health of any community.  Healthcare that is not a right will rely on one's ability to afford access to our healthcare system.   This reality was recently shown in some data from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation.   Moving over this chart with your cursor you can see the number of deaths per 100,000 in any county in Maryland or the United States.   Howard County which is the wealthiest county in Maryland has the fewest deaths per 100,000 in Maryland at 579.  Wicomico and Allegany Counties have the highest rates in Maryland with over 900 deaths per 100,00.  Interestingly, close by Carroll County has a high rate of 807 deaths per 100,000.
     When you look at the Nation as a whole the relationship between income and health becomes even more apparent.  The county with  the most deaths is Buffalo County South Dakota with 1625 deaths per 100,000.  Here is some information on that county:
   "Buffalo County, S.D., is the nation's poorest county. The 2000 census says Buffalo County has more poor children than any other county in the nation. The latest round of census numbers show us how many homes don't have kitchens, plumbing and telephones. In Buffalo County the number of homes without those basic services is increasing.
    Most of Buffalo County is made up of the Crow Creek Indian reservation. It's one of the few rural South Dakota counties that has more children now than 10 years ago. "

    The county with the lowest death rate is Summit County Colorado with 323 deaths per 100,000.  Here is a description of the demographics of that county:

   "Summit County has very high education, high income, high access to medical care, the people are physically active, obesity is lower than anywhere else — so you're doing it right," said Dr. Ali Mokdad, one of the study's co-authors."
     The only proven way to increase positive health outcomes and lower cost is not through tweaking our private healthcare system but going to a universal healthcare system.  One recent study had this conclusion:

   "Achieving effective and equitable UHC (universal health care) has a strong potential to improve and extend people's lives, reduce inequality and potentially lead to economic growth. There is a positive association between UHC and health outcomes. Failing to do may lead to deteriorating population health outcomes."


1 comment:

The Arabic Student said...

Jesus, I grew up adjacent to the most unhealthy county in the US. Union county, Florida.