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County residents overall health falls below state average
heart health

California’s health analysis of the state’s counties shows Stanislaus County has made some improvements from the past survey period, but continues to fall in the lower rankings for some of the most prevalent chronic diseases.

The County Health Status Profiles 2015, released as part of national Public Health Week, provides statewide and county-level data to help guide the course of health promotion and preventive services. The report analyzed health data from 2011 to 2013.

For many of the diseases and conditions, California achieved goals established in the Healthy People 2020 national objectives, which serve as a guide to improve the health of people across the nation. California as a whole has shown improvement in reducing deaths from AIDS, cancers and coronary heart disease, according to the report generated by the California Public Health Department.

Other areas of improvement that met Healthy People 2020 national objectives include reductions in motor vehicle crashes, homicide, firearm-related deaths and suicide.

There are some chronic conditions that have failed to show an improvement. Those include age-adjusted death rates for diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and chronic liver disease.

“The stories told by these data are quite encouraging,” said CDPH Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith, “but we must remember that not all communities have benefited equally from these improvements. Too many people in California still face chronic diseases related to factors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity and the use of tobacco.”  

In all categories related to cause of death, Stanislaus County failed to rank in the top 20.

According to the report, Stanislaus County has the second worst rate in the state for deaths caused by coronary heart disease. The county was ranked 57th, with 148 deaths per 100,000 residents. The rate is a drop from the 160.6 deaths per 100,000 residents recorded between 2008 and 2010, but is well above the state average of 103.8 and the Healthy People 2020 goal of 103.4.

In all but two categories Stanislaus County had higher death rates than the state average. The two exceptions were for AIDS and breast cancer in women. For AIDS incidences in residents 13 years and older, Stanislaus County had 3.5 deaths per 100,000 residents, which is a drop from the rate of 6.3 in the previous survey period. It’s also below the state average of 8.1 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Stanislaus County also showed some improvements in preventing deaths from breast cancer in women. In the 2008-2010 survey, Stanislaus County had a rate of 21.0 deaths per 100,000 female residents. In the recent data collection the county had a rate of 20.3 deaths per 100,000 female residents.

The health survey shows Stanislaus County is ranked in the bottom third for: colorectal cancer — 54th with a rate of 17.0; lung cancer — 41st with a rate of 41.1; Alzheimer’s — 50th with a rate of 39.3; coronary heart disease — 57th with a rate of 148.0; strokes — 47th with a rate of 43.7; influenza/pneumonia — 41st with a rate of 16.8; chronic lower respiratory disease — 44th with a rate of 49.6; and homicide — 46th with a rate of 6.7.

The county ranked in the middle third for: breast cancer — 30th with a rate of 20.3; prostate cancer — 39th with a rate of 21.7; diabetes — 40th with a rate of 21.2; chronic liver disease or cirrhosis — 38th with a rate of 13.9 percent; accidental — 40th with a rate of 13.1; suicide — 21st with a rate of 11.0; firearm-related deaths — 32nd, with a rate of 10.1; drug-related deaths — 34th with a rate of 15.3; and AIDS — 33rd with a rate of 3.5.