Jersey Shore Health Reality: 6th out of 21

Monday, February 22nd, 2010
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Good or bad, the Jersey Shore has been getting a lot of press lately, thanks to a hugely popular reality show filmed about 10 miles south of our office. A new report issued last week offers a reality check on the health of residents at the Jersey shore and nationwide. The County Health Rankings, a collaboration of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, ranks the overall health of every county in all 50 states after examining its health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and the physical environment.

Interactive maps allow you to drill down to each county, which is ranked within the state on how healthy people are and how long they live. The maps provide an eye-opening look at key factors that affect health, such as smoking, obesity, binge drinking, access to primary care providers, rates of high school graduation, rates of violent crime, air pollution levels, liquor store density, unemployment rates and number of children living in poverty.

Our home base of Monmouth County fares pretty well, receiving an overall rating of 6 out of 21 New Jersey counties. However, there’s room for improvement: we have the highest saturation of binge drinkers in the state (a risk factor for at least 10 adverse health conditions), offer only average access to primary care and could boost the numbers of Medicare enrollees receiving diabetic screenings.

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