Friday, August 29, 2014
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A Philly Region Health Report

A non-profit public health group releases findings of a new regional survey on who has health insurance, who's smoking and who has chronic pain.

A Philly Region Health Report

Here's to your health, Philadelphia.

A non-profit public health group, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), that's been working in the region since 1972, Tuesday released a 2012 survey of 13,000 residents of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties.

Among findings:

-- Pretty good indication most Southeastern Pennsylvania residents have health insurance.

Overall, only 12.4 percent of adults aged 18 to 64, and just 3.3 percent of kids under 18, are uninsured.

But breakdowns by race show a real disparity. Among Latino adults under 65 years of age, 26.2 percent are "more likely" to be uninsured than African-Americans (19 percent), Asians (14.7 percent) or Whites (7.5 percent).

-- The number of area residents with high blood pressure remains, well, high.

Nearly a-third (31.2 percent) are diagnosed with high blood pressure, a number the survey says is fairly consistent with past results.

-- The number of those diagnosed with diabetes is up.

The percentage of adults diagnosed with diabetes rose from 4.1 percent in 1991 to 7.7 percent in 2002 to 12.5 percent in the 2012 survey.

-- Too many people still smoke.

More than 572,800 adults in the region smoke cigarettes, about 18 percent. In Philly it's 23.3 percent. The good news for health-care is that the Philly number is down from 42.1 percent in 1983.

-- And lots of folks say they've got chronic pain, defined as pain lasting six months or more.

The survey found about a quarter (24.8 percent) of area residents report having (unspecified) chronic pain. This may or may not be caused by having to read about City Council, driving the Schulykill or taking health surveys.

Just kidding about that last one. Such surveys are valuable in determining the health status and needs of the city and region.

You can read more at www.chdbdata.org.

You can read about PHMC at www.chdbdata.org.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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