LOS ANGELES - Compared to the rest of the state, the health of Los Angeles County residents is about average, according to the 2013 County Health Rankings report. However, this report also highlighted a continuing of improvement in a number health factors.
The report ranked LA County 28 out of the 57 ranked California counties (lower rankings are better) in health outcomes (a measure of how healthy our residents actually are), and 33 out of 57 in terms of health factors (a measure of our medical care system and how healthy our residents' lifestyles and environments are). One of California's 58 counties was not ranked.
"Not surprisingly, Los Angeles County falls toward the middle of the pack in California in health outcomes," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. "But our county has seen much improvement in health factors over the past 4 years, moving from the rank of 44 to 33 in California. These factors represent a window into our future health. These are the issues Public Health's programs seek to address."
The report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and created by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, compiles information on health and health determinants in counties throughout the country, and then ranks each state's counties against one another.
"While LA County's recent health outcomes are typical for California they are well below where we want to be. It is clear that improving social conditions, such as education, employment opportunities, and housing are critical if the County is to improve its health ranking substantially," Dr. Fielding said. "This report highlights the need to continue to take a broad approach to improving the health and quality of life for everyone in the county. For example, while we encourage people to eat healthy food and exercise, we must also ensure that they have access to healthcare, affordable healthy foods, and safe recreational facilities."
Other key highlights from the report regarding Los Angeles County include:
- Improved in ranking to 26 for physical environment which measures access to healthy foods, drinking water safety, access to recreational facilities, and improvements in air quality.
- The county ranked 18 out of 57 for health behaviors which include measures of smoking, obesity, binge drinking, motor vehicle crashes, and sexual behaviors.
- Clinical care ranked 49, based on access to care, delivery of preventive services, and avoidance of preventable hospitalizations.
- Social and economic factors were ranked 41 which include education, unemployment, income inequality, social supports, single parent households and violent crime rate.
The 2013 County Health Rankings report was released in time for National Public Health Week, April 1 - 7. During this week, the nation celebrates public health advances and recognizes the role that public health plays in all of our lives. The 2013 County Health Rankings report can be found at www.countyhealthrankings.org.
For more information regarding the health of Los Angeles County residents, please view the recently released "Key Indicators of Health" report at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ha.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter: @LAPublicHealth.