Monday, March 30, 2015

The Benefits of Madison County (Idaho's Healthiest)

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 9:31 AM

Idaho's healthiest county? That would be Madison, in eastern Idaho. Idaho least-healthy? That's Benewah, between Moscow and Coeur d'Alene in north central Idaho.  For the record, statistics were not available for Camas or Clark counties.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, is out with its annual health rankings for counties throughout the United States—measuring obvious health behaviors such as diet, tobacco and alcohol use, sexual activity and access to care; but the study also examines high school graduation rates, employment, income, housing and transit to configure the rankings. 

And based on equal weighting of length and quality of life, Madison County comes out on top, followed by Blaine, Lewis, Oneida and Adams counties. Madison County got very high marks for quality of life and health behaviors, where it came out first in the state.

Though statistics were not available for Camas or Clark counties, the bottom of the pack was Benewah County, with Lemhi, Shoshone, Clewater and Washington counties also ranking low.

Ada County ranked seventh overall, getting high marks (third highest in Idaho) for health factors such as its food environment and access to exercise opportunities. And Ada ranked first in the state when it comes to clinical care. But dragging Ada County (eighth in the state) was its physical environment, including air pollution, severe housing problems and the number of people who drive alone to work.

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