Coweta County ranked in the top 15 in terms of health outcomes and factors

By Laura Camper / [email protected]

Coweta County was ranked in the top 15 for the state of Georgia in terms of health outcomes and health factors in an annual county health ranking report.

Of Georgia’s 159 counties, Coweta was ranked 11th for health scores and 13th for health factors. Those rankings, from the University of Wisconsin’s Institute of Population Health, were based on how long people live and how healthy they feel along with behavioral, social and environmental factors.

Miranda Helms, quality improvement and accreditation coordinator for District 4 of the Georgia Department of Public Health, said the report allows local health officials to use the data to prioritize to improve health outcomes. The data is also used to create the Community Health Improvement Plan published by the department every five years, she said.

“It was important to us that each county could have its own dataset,” said Helms.

District 4 covers 12 counties, all with their own demographic and health problems, he said. The county breakdown allows county officials and the Department of Public Health to prioritize their dollars and programs in each area.

For example, Coweta County has problems with alcohol and driving, Helms said. In the county, 37% of driving deaths from 2016 to 2020 were related to alcohol. In the state, 21% of driving deaths over the same period were related to alcohol.

This lets local health officials know that a campaign promoting safe drinking behavior could be a good investment in the county, he said.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all answer,” Helms said.

The struggles that county members face may be different, said Natalie Shelton, head of public information and risk communicator for District 4S.

For example, the distance a resident has to travel to get to a hospital can affect health outcomes, he said. Rural areas may have less access to health care; As older doctors retire, younger doctors may be looking to settle in more urban areas, Shelton said.

Low-income residents may have to choose between health care and childcare, whether they are insured or not, Helms said.

District priorities

In District 4, health department surveys showed that the district would like to focus on accessing mental health care, promoting healthy lifestyles, and finding basic health care for preventative things, Helms said.

But those priorities may change as the department starts updating its health improvement plan, he said. Work on the new community health improvement plan is expected to begin by April 2023, she said.

The numbers:

In the lifespan ranking, the data looked at premature death by breaking down deaths by age. For example, a death at the age of 35 counts eight times more than a death at the age of 70. Using that scale, Coweta County recorded an average of 6,900 life years lost through premature death between 2018 and 2020: 10,400 for black residents and 6,500 for white residents. The best performers in the United States averaged 5,600 lost years and Georgia’s best performers averaged 8,000.

In addition, for quality of life, the assessment looked at poor or moderate health status, days of poor physical health, days of poor mental health, and low birth weight. In Georgia, the averages were 19% in poor or moderate health, 4.1 days of poor physical health, 4.8 days of poor mental health and 10% of low birth weight. In Coweta County, those numbers were 18%, 4, 4.9, and 9%, respectively. Although Coweta County beat most Georgia averages, it lagged behind the best performers in the United States, averaging 15% poor or moderate health, 3.4 days of physical ill health, 4 days of poor mental health and 6% of low birth weight.

Likewise, Coweta County beat state averages in some areas, including adult obesity averaging 32 percent for Coweta County and 33 percent for state, STDs averaging 276. , 8 in Coweta County and 637.8 in the state; and teenage births, 18 in Coweta County while the state average was 23. But the state lagged behind the nation’s best performers in those areas, including adult obesity averaging 30 percent, sexually transmitted diseases on average 161.8 and births among adolescents on average 11.

The report also took into account social and economic factors such as the percentage of children in poverty, 12% in Coweta County, better than the state average of 20% but higher than the best in the United States of 9%. Violent crime averaged 232 incidents in Coweta County, lower than the state average of 388 incidents but well above the U.S. best-performing average of 63 incidents. Coweta beat the state and matched America’s top performers for his 61 injury deaths. The state was 69 years old.

The report specifically pointed to the need to improve adult smoking, adult obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol-related driving deaths: 18%, 32%, 19% and 37% of driving deaths respectively. in Coweta County.

The report listed Coweta County strengths such as the number of teenage births (18), the percentage of uninsured residents (13%), the high school completion rate (90%), the percentage of children in poverty (12%), the low-income inequality score (4) and the number of deaths from injury (61).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *