County Health Rankings Show What Influences Residents’ Health

The 2012 County Health Rankings were released this week [1]. Now in their third year, the Rankings are increasingly being used by community leaders to help them identify health challenges, take action and improve the health of their residents.

2012 County Rankings

The Rankings are published on-line every year by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Using a standard way to measure how healthy people are and how long they live, the Rankings assess the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states.

Where You Live Matters to Your Health

The County Health Rankings — the first set of reports to rank the overall health of every county in all 50 states — were released recently by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The 50 state reports, available on, enables consumers, public health and community leaders, policy-makers and others to see how healthy their county is, compare it with others within their state and find ways to improve the health of their community.

County Health Rankings

The County Health Rankings

The County Health Rankings identify the healthiest and least healthy counties within every state in the nation. Health outcomes in the County Health Rankings represent how healthy a county is. Two types of health outcomes are measured: how long people live (mortality) and how healthy people feel while alive (morbidity).

Meat Consumption and Mortality Risk

According to a study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a high intake of red or processed meat increases the risk of death [1]. In contrast, those consuming white meat had a decreased risk of both total mortality and cancer mortality. Two years ago, a similar study identified an association between red and processed meat and cancers of the colorectum and lung [2], but this is the first large-scale study to assess the relationship between red, white and processed meat consumption and the overall risk of death.

Researchers prospectively (meaning in real time) investigated red, white and processed meat consumption as risk factors for total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. The dietary habits of more than a half-million men and women aged 50 to 71 years were assessed in 1995 using a 124-item food frequency questionnaire. Cohort members were then followed-up over a 10 year period (i.e. from 1995 to 2005).

Health 2.0 Highlights: February 9th, 2009

More Education Decreases the Risk of Death

Everyone knows that a good education is important for getting a good job. Now researchers are finding that being well-educated can lengthen your life. The study, published earlier this month in the journal PLoS ONE, finds that socioeconomic inequalities in the U.S. death rate between people with less than a high school education and college graduates increased from 1993 to 2001 [1]. The widening gap is due to (i) significant decreases in mortality from all causes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and other conditions, in the most educated and (ii) unchanged or increasing death rates in the least educated.