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Cabarrus ranks among healthiest counties

Cabarrus County is among the healthiest counties in North Carolina, while Rowan ranks in the bottom half, according to a report released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
The annual report measures residents’ longevity and overall health, factoring in the rate of premature deaths, behaviors such as smoking and binge drinking, and social and economic circumstances such as poverty and education level.
Cabarrus improved two spots from ninth-healthiest in 2010 to seventh statewide this year. Rowan held steady at No. 62 out of 100 North Carolina counties.
Wake County was ranked the healthiest county in North Carolina, while Columbus County ranked at the bottom.
According to the statistics collected, 28 percent of adults in Rowan said they were smokers, compared to 22 percent in Cabarrus and statewide. Residents reported more poor physical and mental health days in Rowan, and more children live in poverty.
Rowan also ranked worst in the state for physical environment, with 23 ozone pollution days. Cabarrus had 14, Wake had seven, and the statewide average was one ozone pollution day.
One of the big differences is in the number of primary care providers in each county. Rowan has one primary care doctor for every 1,487 residents, while Cabarrus has nearly twice as many, one primary care doctor for every 705 residents.
The number of primary care providers in Cabarrus is higher than the number in Wake County, which has one for every 835 residents, and the statewide average of one provider for every 859 residents.
See Thursday’s Salisbury Post for more on this report.
To see the entire report, log on to www.countyhealthrankings.org.

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