California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Northern Calif. Counties Ranked Highest for Overall Health

California's northern counties ranked highest for overall health in the state, according to a report released Tuesday by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, U-T San Diego reports (Lavelle, U-T San Diego, 4/3).

The study used government data to rank more than 3,000 U.S. counties based on health indicators such as drinking, obesity, physical inactivity, smoking and premature death (Tavernise, New York Times, 4/3).

County Rankings

According to the report, the top five California counties for overall health were:

  1. Marin;
  2. Santa Clara;
  3. San Benito;
  4. Placer; and
  5. San Mateo (U-T San Diego, 4/3).

The lowest-ranking California counties for overall health were:

  • Siskiyou, ranking 54th.
  • Del Norte, ranking 55th; and
  • Trinity, ranking 56th.

Some California counties were not ranked (2012 County Health Rankings, 4/3).

State Tobacco Rankings

Julie Willems Van Dijk -- a study researcher -- said that findings show California's tobacco laws are among the toughest in the U.S. According to the report, California had the second-lowest smoking rates in the U.S. after Utah (U-T San Diego, 4/3).

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