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Klickitat County Residents Said To Be Healthier Than Average

Health profile shows that despite a sluggish economy, Klickitat County does as well or better than state average in health measures

A newly released health profile for Klickitat County shows that despite a sluggish economy Klickitat County does as well or better than the state average on almost all other health and quality of life measures profiled.

In 1999, the unemployment rate was at 9.2 percent whereas the state unemployment rate was 4.7 percent. In addition, personal income and net earnings per worker are lower than state averages. However, death rates from all causes were lower than the state average at 757.2 per 100,000 people in 1996-1998. In rural counties the average rate was 864.6 and the state as a whole had a rate of 830.1.

The report also showed high school drop out rates on the decline. Seniors dropping out of school decreased from 9.7 percent in 1997 to 4.7 percent in 1998.

"Health Profile for Klickitat County," prepared by the Washington Health Foundation, looks at a variety of health indicators, including academic performance, population changes, and deaths by selected causes. Together the indicators present a preliminary picture of the health of Klickitat County.

"These profiles give us a sketch of our communities' health," shares Greg Vigdor, president of the foundation. "It is up to each community to paint in the important details."

The nonprofit Washington Health Foundation has just released health profiles for each county in Washington State. Each profile answers such questions as: How does the health of this county compare to other rural or urban counties, and to the state as a whole? Are we living longer? Are our students better educated? What are our most frequent causes of death? The profiles take a look at community health through a combination of social, health, and economic factors.

"We need to look at a wide range of factors which contribute to the overall health and well being of our community. Once we have this information local leaders can begin to address those issues which have a negative impact on the community's health. This may mean tackling poverty, supporting anti- smoking programs or working to reduce pesticide use," continued Vigdor.

The Washington Health Foundation is dedicated to improving health and access to quality health care for the people of Washington.

County Health Profiles for 2001 are available online at www.whf.org/county2.htm.

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