Archived Story

Madison County ranks high in health

Published 11:01pm Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Madison County has some of the healthiest residents in Alabama, according to the annual County Health Rankings, released today by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

According to this year’s rankings, the 10 healthiest counties in Alabama, starting with most healthy, are Shelby, Lee, Baldwin, Madison, Limestone, Elmore, Morgan, Blount, Houston, Coffee.

The 10 counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Bullock, Perry, Walker, Greene, Dallas, Lowndes, Macon, Talladega, Wilcox, Chilton, according to the rankings.

“The rankings help counties see what is affecting the health of their residents are so they can see where they are doing well, where they need to improve, and what steps they need to take as a community to remove barriers to good health,” says Patrick Remington, Associate Dean for public health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Researchers used five measures to assess the level of overall health or “health outcomes” for Alabama by county: the rate of people dying before age 75, the percent of people who report being in fair or poor health, the numbers of days people report being in poor physical and poor mental health, and the rate of low-birth weight infants.

The rankings, available at countyhealthrankings.org, include a snapshot of each county in Alabama with a color-coded map comparing each county’s overall health ranking.

“The County Health Rankings help everyone see that much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor’s office and where we live matters to our health,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “The good news is that there are things counties can do right away to help their residents lead healthier lives. We hope this second annual release of County Health Rankings data will spur all sectors – government, business, community and faith-based groups, education and public health – to work together to find solutions and take action and implement programs and policy changes to improve health.”

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