ARE WE HEALTHY? PART II | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

ARE WE HEALTHY? PART II

We may not be quite as healthy as we thought we were yesterday

Posted: March 30, 2011 - 7:23pm

Let’s try this again. 

In Wednesday’s Dispatch, we listed the rankings of the healthiest counties in Minnesota based on a new report released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Health. The information released to us early Tuesday was “embargoed,” or not to be published or broadcast until after 11:01 p.m. Tuesday. What we didn’t know is that the rankings listed on the website, www.countyhealthrankings.org, Tuesday weren’t going to be updated either until 11:01 p.m. Tuesday. So Wednesday’s story contained data from 2010, not 2011.

We apologize for the error — and the fact that Crow Wing County residents have grown even more unhealthy since our story Tuesday.  


 

Crow Wing County dropped toward the bottom of the rankings of Minnesota’s healthiest counties, as did a few other lakes area counties listed on a report released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The state Department of Health released the 2011 county health rankings, a report prepared by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The report ranked 85 of Minnesota’s counties into two categories: health outcomes and health factors. Two counties, Cook and Traverse, were not ranked. 

Health outcomes include premature deaths, or those dying before age 75; the percentage of people reported being in fair or poor health; and the rate of low-birth weight infants. Health factors include health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.

Crow Wing County dropped from 53rd to 67th from 2010 to 2011 in the health outcomes ranking and from 60th to 70th in health factors during those same years out of 85 counties. 

Cass County dropped from 81st in 2010 to dead last at 85th in health outcomes in 2011 but rose slightly in health factors from 84th in 2010 to 83rd  in 2011. 

Aitkin County remained the same at 25th in 2010 and 2011 in health outcomes and dropped slightly in health factors from 76th to 77th in 2011. 

Mille Lacs County dropped in health outcomes from 57th to 65th and rose from 81st to 79th in health factors in 2011. 

Todd County dropped in health outcomes from 66th to 76th in health outcomes and rose in health factors from 80th to 73rd in 2011.

Wadena County dropped in health outcomes from 82nd to 84th and dropped further from 36th to 52nd place in health factors in 2011. 

Morrison County remained the same rank at 80th in health outcomes and dropped from 68th to 78th in health factors in 2011. 

The top five healthiest counties in the state in health outcomes in 2011, listed in order, are: Lac qui Parle, McLeod, Steele, Brown and Carver. The top five counties with the best health factors in 2011, listed in order, are: Olmsted, Carver, Washington, Nicollet and Hennepin. 

Crow Wing County’s premature deaths were listed as 5,723, higher than the statewide average of 5,272. The county’s morbidity, or the incidence of disease or poor health, is ranked 82nd out of 85 counties. 

The county also ranks higher than the statewide average in terms of health behaviors, including adult obesity, excessive drinking, motor vehicle crash death rate, and teen birth rate. 

The county’s adult obesity rate is 28 percent, a 1 percent increase from 2010 and the same as the statewide average in 2011. The county’s excessive drinking rate is 21 percent, as compared to the state average of 20 percent. The motor vehicle crash death rate is 20, compared to the state average of 13. Teen birth rate is 35, as compared to the state average of 28. 

Crow Wing County’s high school graduation rate was 90 percent, higher than the 87 percent statewide average but fewer residents have college experience, 68 percent compared to the state average of 72 percent. Children living in poverty in the county is 15 percent, compared to the state average of 11 percent. 

The county has a 62 percent rate of access to healthy foods, higher than the state average of 54 percent. In 2010 the county’s access to healthy foods was listed as 53 percent. 

 

JODIE TWEED may be reached at jodie.tweed@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5858.