Tuesday, December 11, 2007

St. Croix Ranks 9th in Annual Health Study

The 5th annual Wisconsin County Health Rankings says St. Croix County is the 9th healthiest county of the 73 areas (72 counties plus the city of Milwaukee) examined by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The rankings are designed to summarize the current health of the counties as well as the distribution of key factors that determine health. Those factors include health care, health behaviors, socio-economic factors, and the physical environment.

Ozaukee County is the state's healthiest county according to the study. The city of Milwaukee ranked 72nd and Menominee County ranked 73rd.

The study ranked the 73 areas according to their summary measures of health outcomes and health determinants. The health outcomes are based on an equal weighting of two measures - mortality (years of potential life lost) and general health status (self-reported fair or poor). Health determinants are based on weighted scores of four major components - health care (access to care and quality outpatient care), physical behaviors (tobacco, diet-exercise, alcohol use, high risk sexual behavior, and violence), socio-economic factors (education, income, and social disruption), and physical environment (air quality, water quality, and built environment).

The Top 10 counties are (1) Ozaukee, (2) Waukesha, (3) Eau Claire, (4) Iowa, (5) Dane, (6) Portage, (7) Outagamie, (8) Washington, (9) St. Croix, and (10) Kewaunee.

The nine counties of west central Wisconsin are ranked: (3) Eau Claire, (9) St. Croix, (12) Pierce, (18) Dunn, (33) Clark, (41) Polk, (44) Chippewa, (45) Pepin, and (52) Barron.