Provided by Lincoln County Health and Human Service
Lincoln County moved up this year in Oregon’s 2012 County Health Rankings, but only by a few notches.
The newly released rankings show areas where Lincoln County must strengthen its efforts and undertake new initiatives to improve the health of county residents. Lincoln County ranked 23rd out of 33 Oregon counties for health outcomes, up from 27th in 2011. The county ranked 25th for health factors, the same position it held last year.
Health outcomes are ways to measure the effects of health, such as premature death and the number of days each month a person considers himself to be in poor mental or physical health. Health risk factors include smoking, lack of education, poverty, air pollution, and whether there are enough doctors to meet community needs.
Several factors put Lincoln County residents at greater risk for poor health, including chronic disease. For example, more than 25 percent of Lincoln County adults report smoking and more than 25 percent are classified as obese. Excessive drinking and physical inactivity further place county residents at risk of poor health. Socioeconomic factors also create barriers to better health for Lincoln County residents where, like most of Oregon, unemployment is high.
Opportunities for good health start in childhood, yet nearly one in three children in Lincoln County live in poverty. Among young adults, only 65 percent graduate from high school within the normal four years. Thirty-two percent take longer. 2.8% never finish.
Work has already begun to address many of the issues that contribute to poor health in the county, according to Joell Archibald, director of the Lincoln County Public Health Division. “I applaud the community’s ongoing commitment to decreasing tobacco use and obesity,” said Archibald. “As this work continues, it is important to promote new and better ways to improve the community’s overall health.”