February 26, 2010

Mountrail ranks one of least healthy counties

Mountrail ranks one of least healthy counties
By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR

Whether you agree with it or not, Mountrail County has wound up near the bottom in health rankings in North Dakota for 2010.
A county health ranking for the state was released last week and showed Mountrail County 41st of 44 counties that were studied. Neighboring county to the west McKenzie, ranked 20th and Ward County to the east, ranked eighth.
The Upper Missouri District Health Unit in Williston says there are a number of factors that go into ranking the counties on a healthy scale. Researchers used five measures to assess the level of overall health for North Dakota by county.
The measures include the rate of people dying before age 75, the percent of people who report being in fair or poor health, the number of days people report being in poor physical and poor mental health and the rate of low birth-weight babies.
The report also looks at factors that affect people’s health within four categories: health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.
“While we know the rankings for the counties in our coverage area are not as high as we would like them to be, we also know the rankings can be used to build the partnerships needed to improve our ranking,” said Upper Missouri Public Affairs Officer Daphne Clark. “We will continue to work with partners in our four counties who can help to improve our quality of life.”
Pembina County had the No. 1 ranking in the state, followed by Griggs, Cass, Grand Forks and Barnes. Ward County came in eighth and Burleigh, including the state capitol, Bismarck, was ninth.
Ironically, all the counties with Indian reservations ranked consistently at the bottom. Sioux County (Standing Rock Reservation) was 44th, Benson, (Spirit Lake Reservation) 43rd, Rolette, (Turtle Mountain Reservation) 42nd and Mountrail, (Fort Berthold Reservation) 41st.
 


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