Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Philly has most doctors, worst health, in Pa., survey says

Public Health Management Corp. runs Johnson-Wisconsin study

Philly has most doctors, worst health, in Pa., survey says


Philadelphia, with its university hospitals, has plenty of doctors and other health professionals, but still ranks last in Pennsylvania as measured by "health outcomes," including physical activity and early death. By contrast, suburban Chester County -- the state's wealthiest -- ranks right behind little Union County in central Pa. as the healthiest, reports the annual County Health Rankings published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, using data analyzed by (corrected) Philadelphia-based Public Health Management Corp.

The groups rated counties across the U.S. for 29 factors associated with health, including smoking, employment levels, "physical inactivity," food-supply access, poverty and high-school completion rates. The five healthiest counties in the state by that measure are Union (east of Penn State), Chester, Centre (includes Penn State with all its healthy students), Cumberland (Harrisburg's wealthier suburbs) and Montgomery (including part of Philadelphia's Main Line and other wealthy suburbs.) Montgomery and Chester counties reported above-average drunken-driving deaths but remained overall near the top of the charts.

The least-healthy counties in the state, starting with the worst, are Philadelphia and four rural Appalachian counties: Forest, Fayette, Greene and Sullivan. See the rankings and links to other charts and data at http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/pennsylvania/2014/rankings/factors/overall. In New Jersey, wealthy New York suburbs ranked higher than South Jersey counties, that data here.

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Joseph N. DiStefano
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