Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Putnam County Among 'Healthiest' In Tennessee

Putnam County is among the healthiest counties in Tennessee, according to a report released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It's based on research conducted by the University of Wisconsin. Williamson County continues to have the healthiest residents in Tennessee and Benton County is the least healthy county in the state, according to the annual County Health Rankings. But Putnam County ranks as the seventh most healthy place to live in the state -- ahead of all of the major metropolitan areas and all other counties in the immediate area. In fact, according to the report, Fentress County, which is just northeast of Putnam, ranks as one of the least healthy in the state. Officials say people there are about three times more likely to die than those in Putnam County. Researchers used five measures to assess the level of overall health or “health outcomes” for Tennessee by county: the rate of people dying before age 75, the percent of people who report being in fair or poor health, the numbers of days people report being in poor physical and poor mental health, and the rate of low-birthweight infants. They also looked at: rates of adult smoking, adult obesity, excessive drinking among adults, and teenage births; the number of uninsured adults, availability of primary care providers, and preventable hospital stays; rates of high school graduation, adults who have attended college, children in poverty; and community safety; access to healthy foods and air pollution levels.