Texas Health Care Briefing No. 1
How’s your health, Texas?
Texans are getting fatter. But at least we don’t binge drink as much as we used to and we’re smoking even less, a close look at state health data shows.
These three key health indicators vary across the state, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services data. Central Texans binge drink the most. East Texans smoke more. And more people in the Rio Grande Valley are obese.
Overall, just about 30 percent of Texans in 2011 had a body mass index of more than 30. By 2014, the most recent available data, that number had crept up by 1 percent, continuing its steady climb.
About 18 percent of Texans reported binge drinking at least once a month in 2011. By 2014, about 16 percent did. Central Texans — just over 18 percent of them — reported binge drinking at least once a month in 2014.
And about 19 percent of Texans said they were smokers in 2011. By 2014, that had dropped to just 15 percent. But nearly 24 percent of East Texans were still smoking daily in 2014. Click here to see for yourself: http://healthdata.dshs.texas.gov/HealthRisks/BRFSS
A new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute ranks the health of nearly every county in the nation.
Access to medical care, sleep patterns and drug overdose deaths are some of the factors used to measure the health of counties. Researchers analyzed housing conditions, employment, and education levels and compared the health of people living in cities to those in rural communities. The report has been published annually for seven years.
The report ranks counties by rates of sexually transmitted infections, smoking, obesity and teenage pregnancy, among others. The report’s authors say these types of measures can predict the future health of a community and highlight areas where public health interventions are most needed.
So how does your home district’s health measure up? Drill down into the data yourself at www.countyhealthrankings.org.