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Health

Sedgwick County Ranks In Bottom Third For Overall Health In Kansas

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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According to a new annual county health ranking from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the overall health in Sedgwick County is similar to recent years, but there are some areas of concern.

Results for Sedgwick County were consistent with past years, but the county did fall dramatically in its ranking for physical environment. That category includes things like the percentage of severe housing problems and the number of residents who drive to work alone instead of carpooling.

Incidence of sexually transmitted infections--specifically, chlamydia-- was, on average, twice as high in Sedgwick County than in Reno, Sumner, Butler and Harvey Counties. Sedgwick County had lower high school graduation rates and higher rates of unemployment and violent crime when compared to those same counties.

Johnson County had the best health rating, and Wyandotte County had the worst. Sedgwick County ranked 69th overall--in the bottom third of the more than 100 counties that reported data.

From the Heartland Health Monitor:

New county health rankings tell the same old story in Kansas.

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The southeastern corner of Kansas remains the state’s least healthy region, according to the rankings released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. However, the county at the bottom of the list—Wyandotte—is right next door to Johnson County—the top performer. Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, of the Kansas Health Institute, says two factors are primary drivers of the wide variation among counties.

“The two best predictors of good or poor health are economic situation and education, and those two are very much linked to each other,” Pezzino says.

Pezzino says people with less education are more likely to have jobs that don’t provide economic security. That, in turn, leads to what some researchers call “toxic stress”. As a result, they’re more likely to make lifestyle choices—smoking, for example—that cause them to be less healthy.

You can see the full ranking here: