Cuyahoga County Ranks 67th in State Health Report (Yes, That's Bad)

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The University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute released its annual County Health Rankings survey, a nationwide study that assesses the overall health of every U.S. county based on factors such as premature and unnatural mortality, preponderance of smoking, drinking, and obesity, access to healthcare, poverty and unemployment rates, and environmental health hazards.

While nearby Geauga and Medina counties made it to the top five healthiest counties, Cuyahoga came in at, uh, number 67. That’s out of 88 counties total—counties that aren’t the site of, say, one of the top four hospitals in the country.

We can credit our poor performance to, among other things, prevalence of STIs like chlamydia and HIV, high teen birth and infant mortality rates, pervasive violent crime and childhood poverty, a large percentage of residents without health insurance, and exposure to daily fine particulate matter, or “shitty, pollution-steeped air,” if you insist on using the official EPA argot.

The entire state is pretty overweight, alcoholic, and cig-happy, with obesity, binge drinking, and tobacco use rates in our county and most others exceeding the national average. Our percentage of total restaurants that qualify as “fast food” is also about twice the national benchmark. But hey, at least our drinking water is (maybe) safe! Not that we’d drink it, dude. Milwaukee’s Best is just so much more refreshing, especially after a few smokes and some Arby’s.

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