A report released late Tuesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute ranked Clark County sixth out of all Nevada counties for its overall health outcomes and 12th based on health factors including clinical care and the physical environment.
Clark County maintained its rankings from last year in the annual County Health Rankings study. The report assesses the health of nearly every county in the country and provides two state-based rankings for those counties.
A county’s health outcomes ranking is based equally on residents’ length of life and the quality of life as judged by statistics including birth weight and percent of adults reporting fair or poor health. The health factors ranking takes into account health behaviors, physical environment, clinical care and social and economic factors.
In Nevada, Douglas County topped both the health factors and health outcomes lists. The remaining top five counties for overall health outcomes were Pershing County, Lincoln County, Elko County and Washoe County. For health factors, the highest-ranked counties other than Douglas were Eureka County, Washoe County, White Pine County and Lander County.
Mineral County ranked worst for both health outcomes and health factors, and Nye County came in 16th place on both lists.
Esmeralda County was included in the rankings for the first time in the seven-year history of the report after lacking sufficient data in the past.
The health outcomes list is a reflection of the health of communities today, while the health factors rankings indicate the possible health of a community in the future, said Kate Konkle, associate researcher at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
“Our data team gathers that information and then compiles it so that the communities have that easy-to-use snapshot,” Konkle said. “They can see all of this data in one spot.”
The report is compiled using the most recently available data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other agencies, Konkle said. Some data used to obtain the rankings this year go back to 2007.
Konkle said the rankings offer a chance for communities to reflect on what they’re doing to improve the overall health of their populations.
“We’ve had lots of communities, though, who’ve really used this as a call to action to say ‘We’re not happy with where we are,’” she said.
Noteworthy statistics include Nevada’s number of newly diagnosed chlamydia cases per 100,000 members of the population in 2013 at 427, far above the national average of 287.7. The ratio of the total population to the number of mental health providers is 1,060-1 nationally, but Nevada’s overall ratio in 2015 was 570-1.
Contact Pashtana Usufzy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4563. Follow @Pashtana_U on Twitter.