Barry County ranks low on national health scorecard

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Barry County ranks 83 out of 115 Missouri counties in a recent health study, making it one of the "sickest" counties in the state.

The mortality rate in Barry County ranks 74 out of 115 counties, estimating approximately 8,904 years lost to premature death compared to the 5,317 years of life lost used as the national benchmark.

The survey indicated 18 percent of residents are in poor to fair health, compared to 10 percent nationally.

Barry Countians participate more frequently in risky behaviors compared to most other counties in the state, ranking 93 out of 115.

A comparison of health risk behaviors included adult smoking, 18 percent of the population in Barry County compared to 13 percent nationally; 30 percent adult obesity compared to 25 percent nationally; 33 percent physical inactivity compared to 21 percent nationally; excessive drinking 16 percent compared to 7 percent nationally.

Additional indicators include motor vehicle crash rates of 30 compared to 10 on the national benchmark; sexually transmitted infections at 155 compared to the national benchmark of 92; and the teen birthrate at 64, compared to the national benchmark of 21.

Ranking 42 out of 115 in clinical care, the study showed 21 percent of Barry County residents are uninsured compared to the national benchmark of 11 percent.

The ratio of patients to primary care physicians is 1,693 to one compared to 1,067 to one nationally. The ratio of patients to dentists is 5,122 to one in Barry County, compared to 1,516 to one nationally.

The data for the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps was produced by a team at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute in Madison, Wisc.

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