August 2, 2007

Heart Disease is Leading Cause of Death According to Health Departmentís Community Assessment

The Scotland County Health Department recently completed a community health assessment. The results indicate that in Scotland County 78.1% of the children are properly immunized. In Scotland County 23.1% of the adult population are said to use tobacco products, this is compared to the state rate of 26.5% in addition 25.4% are said to be inactive, compared to the state rate of 23%.

Data shows that 33% of residents of Scotland County to be overweight and 24.7% are said to be obese, this is greater than the state rate, but not significantly so. 75% of the population is said not to consume the recommended number of fruits and vegetables, and males are less likely to consume the recommended amount. In addition, those with higher education are shown to eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink skim milk.

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in Scotland County, and the state as a whole, and correlate strongly with risky behaviors such as obesity, poor nutrition habits, low physical activity levels and tobacco use.

In 2005 20% of Scotland County youth said they used tobacco products, in addition, only 17% said they were meeting the recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption.

With regard to chronic disease indicators such as obesity, physical activity and nutrition, our county rates are higher than state rates, however not significantly so. There are no special race issues in Scotland County; however it is estimated that 25% of the population is Mennonite and would therefore practice different dietary, activity and tobacco use.

Screenings for cancer are not utilized, as they should be in Scotland County. 87.6% of men and women over 50 in Scotland County have not had annual blood stool test, 8.8% of women over age 40 have never had a mammogram, and 9% have never had a pap test. It was shown that a high percentage of the population has their blood pressure checked at least every two years, but this is not adequate in the health departmentís opinion. Screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar are available at the health department.

The leading cause of mortality in Scotland County is heart disease followed by cancer.

In conclusion the summary of findings for the community health assessment is:

1. Indicator Problems: high levels of cardiovascular disease, high numbers of cancer cases.

2. Risk factor problems include: tobacco use, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, obesity, lack of screening utilization, lack of health insurance and affordable health care.

3. Most significant problems within the health department jurisdiction are: tobacco use, inactivity and poor nutrition.

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