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The assessment of the health status of the country’s citizens is largely based on statistical calculations and analyses containing relevant information on specific risk factors and the prevalence of diseases. Today, there are various databases where anyone can find out and compare official service reports on such indicators as the quality of life, health behaviors, and other aspects. One of such interactive platforms is the County Health Rankings service that contains information about these parameters of citizens’ well-being in individual state counties, which is convenient. As significant assessment criteria, health behaviors and risk factors are usually discussed. The analysis of such indicators in specific territorial units may provide an opportunity to learn the necessary information and draw appropriate conclusions regarding the need for medical interventions.
County Health Rankings
The aforementioned County Health Rankings service provides detailed information on all US counties regarding such important aspects of people’s lives as health outcomes, risk factors, clinical care statistics, and other relevant indicators. This resource will be discussed further on the example of some individual areas. As the most important parameters for the assessment, health behaviors and risk factors will be taken since these criteria largely form a comprehensive picture of the situation in a particular region.
Examples of Rankings
In order to demonstrate the value of the considered resource, examples of statistics from some regions may be given. For instance, Cook County, IL, in terms of health behavior, is ranked 10th out of 102 (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2019a). When giving real numbers, it is worth mentioning the indicators of adult smoking (14%), adult obesity (27%), physical inactivity (21%), and excessive drinking (22%) (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2019a). Another example is Orange County, CA, which is ranked 4th in the state in terms of health behaviors (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2019c). Thus, different data form a comprehensive picture of the parameters of people’s well-being in a particular region.
The county I live in now is McDuffie, GA, and its indicators are not high. This region ranks 110th out of 159 in terms of health outcomes (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2019b). Some indicators, for instance, the length of life (113th position), health behaviors (108th position), and the quality of life (99th position) are threatening (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2019b). Due to the County Health Rankings service, all interested parties are able to see the current statistics, and in the case of McDuffie County, one can identify the areas that worth taking actions.
Risk factors are those criteria that aggravate people’s health and increase the likelihood of developing diseases. For instance, in Cook County, IL, obesity is a significant risk factor since its indicator is 27% (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2019a). The lack of control over this problem may lead to related issues, such as diabetes. Another example of a risk factor from the same region is promiscuous sexual relations because the rate of sexually transmitted infections is 783.8 (County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, 2019a). Thus, these criteria serve as negative drivers that stimulate health problems.
In addition to the resource reviewed, there are some other services that can offer valuable information about health behaviors in specific regions. For instance, the analytics of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017) offer to pay attention to the behavioral risk factor surveillance system (BRFSS), where statistical data on risk factors are given. This platform is of high quality due to convenient infographics and relevant information.
The assessment of such parameters as health behaviors and risk factors provides an opportunity to study the situation in the desired region and take appropriate actions to reduce the most threatening indicators. On the example of the County Health Rankings service, one can review current data on the necessary criteria. As an alternative resource, the BRFSS platform may be utilized where valuable statistical information is also collected.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). BRFSS prevalence & trends data. Web.
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. (2019a). Cook (CK). Web.
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. (2019b). McDuffie (MC). Web.
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. (2019c). Orange (OR). Web.