A new report on the health of counties across the nation revealed the rate of premature death in Los Angeles County was lower than the rate of 41 of California’s 58 counties as well as the rate in over 90% of all counties in the United States.
A new report released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute on the health of counties across the nation compares the rate of premature deaths and other indicators in Los Angeles County with other jurisdictions. The County’s result (5,000 years of potential life lost per 100,000 population) fared better than that of both the state and the nation overall.
Note: The 2021 release of rankings do not account for the impact of COVID-19 on counties as the data used to calculate the ranks were from 2019 or earlier.
Other key areas of health indicators where Los Angeles County scored better in comparison to other county jurisdictions both statewide and nationally include the following:
– Percentage of alcohol-impaired driving deaths (19%)
– Adult smoking prevalence (13%)
– Adult excessing drinking prevalence (18%)
– Adult physical inactivity prevalence (17%)
Heath insurance coverage, where the rate of uninsured decreased more rapidly in Los Angeles County than in California and the U.S. overall
However, the report also noted large racial and ethnic disparities in results for many of the indicators. For instance, the rate of premature death in Los Angeles County was more than two times higher among Black/African Americans (9,900 YPLLs per 100,000) than among Whites and Latino/Latinx (4,900 and 4,700 YPLLs per 100,000 respectively).
“Over the past several decades, we have made progress in improving the health of our residents,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director. “More efforts are clearly needed to address the disproportionate poor health outcomes experienced by people living in low-resourced neighborhoods and people of color. Closing the gaps remains a priority for us as we move forward and this is only possible if we tackle the root causes of health inequities by ensuring that every individual, family and community has the resources needed and necessary for optimal health and well-being. ”
Other areas of concern for the county include the following:
– Almost a quarter of County households experience “severe housing burden,” defined as spending more than 50% of household income on housing.
– More than half (51%) of Los Angeles County residents experienced long commute times to work, which have been associated with an increased risk of obesity and other adverse health effects.
– Adult obesity has been slowly but steadily increasing, with the most recent estimate showing that approximately 22% of the County population is obese.
– The rate of chlamydia infections has been rising, with the most recently available data showing a 50% increase between 2007 and 2017 (443 per 100,000 population vs. 668 per 100,000 population, respectively).
For more information on the rankings, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org/.
The Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 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. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.