Analysis: Residents of Coachella Valley Sicker Than Other Californians
Residents of the Coachella Valley in Riverside County are in poorer health than other Californians, according to an analysis of research by the Health Assessment Resource Center, California WatchÂ reports.
The center is based in Palm Desert and has compiled health and socioeconomic data for Riverside County since 2007.
Details of Analysis
According to HARC, 17.4% of Coachella Valley residents are in fair or poor health, compared with the statewide average of 8.1%.
HARC also found that Coachella Valley residents had higher rates of binge drinking, diabetes and smoking than residents in other areas of the state.
Health professionals say the conclusions of the analysis are not surprising.
Eduardo Guevara -- an employee of Promotores Comunitarios del Desierto, a health education organization -- said, "The Coachella Valley is plagued with contaminated water, unhealthy air quality, unregulated hazardous waste dumps and food deserts."
Raul Ruiz -- founder of the Coachella Valley Healthcare Initiative and an emergency department physician -- said the analysis is in line with his experience as a physician. Ruiz noted that residents of poor neighborhoods can have difficulty accessing health care, as well as health education and prevention programs (Yeung, California Watch, 12/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.