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Study: Marengo County among state’s least healthy

Marengo County residents are among the least healthy in the state according to the annual “County Health Rankings”, released Tuesday by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Marengo County comes in at 58 of 67 Alabama counties with regard to heath outcomes but fares significantly better in health factors, settling in at 45th.

“The Rankings help counties see what is affecting the health of their residents are so they can see where they are doing well, where they need to improve, and what steps they need to take as a community to remove barriers to good health,” said Patrick Remington, M.D., M.P.H.,Associate Dean for Public Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Marengo County ranks 43rd in Premature deaths, with nearly twice as many as Shelby County, who was ranked as healthiest in Alabama through the study.

Most notable in the study were than reports of adult smoking in Marengo County (15 percent) were significantly lower than the state average (24 percent) and the teen birth rate was consistent with the state average (54).

Marengo County ranked in the top 50 percent of Alabama counties in only two categories: Heath behaviors (no. 27) and Clinical care (no. 20).

Marengo County’s violent crime rate (358) was also far below the state average (435).

According to this year’s rankings, the 10 healthiest counties in Alabama, starting with most healthy, are Shelby, Lee, Baldwin, Madison, Limestone, Elmore, Morgan, Blount, Houston and Coffee. The 10 counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Bullock, Perry, Walker, Greene, Dallas, Lowndes, Macon, Talladega, Wilcox and Chilton.