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Boone County is 10th healthiest county in Missouri

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | 5:16 p.m. CDT; updated 9:05 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Christian County is ranked the healthiest county in Missouri. Boone County is near the top, while Pemiscot County is ranked the unhealthiest, according to a survey that compares factors such as length of life, quality of life, health behaviors and clinical care availability.

COLUMBIA — Boone County was ranked the No. 10 healthiest county in Missouri.

Of the 114 counties in Missouri, Christian County, which is located in the southwestern corner of the state, was the healthiest.

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The study, conducted by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, uses a combination of national statistics to rank counties. Among other data, they use vital statistics and census data, as well as phone surveys and reports from the health department in the state.

The study combined the data to rate health based on factors that would cause premature death and low birth weights.

A few of Boone County's health factors caught Patrick Remington, the associate dean for public health and professor of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, by surprise.

"Boone County does well in almost all factors across the board. ... The air quality is especially good," he said.

However, Boone County is below national averages in excessive drinking, adult smoking and adult obesity.

Remington said Boone County has "a ways to go" if it wants to rank in the top 10 percent of healthiest counties in the country. In order to do that, it needs to lower its total of potential life lost per 100,000 people under age 75.

"Potential life lost" means if a person dies at age 50, for example, that contributes 25 years to the total of potential life lost, according the study's website.

Boone County has about 6,247 years of potential life lost compared to the national average of 5,564, according to the study.

Pemiscot County, which is in the southeastern most corner of the state, was the least healthy.


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Comments

Mark Foecking April 1, 2011 | 6:12 a.m.

"However, Boone County is below national averages in excessive drinking"

A college town is going to have a low rate of excessive drinking?

We'd have a pretty dead downtown after hours if we did.

DK

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett June 21, 2011 | 9:57 p.m.

Lose the chemicals/save the water and soil:
Using fertilizers on grass lawns that are cut twice a week close to the ground, then watered with sprinklers to assure that grass does not die as a result of this sort of maltreatment to the lawn, is becoming passe. Not only does this method of lawn maintenance waste our natural resource of water, but it clings to the process of farther polluting the environment with unnecessary chemicals, to say nothing of air pollutants of twice-weekly use of lawn mower.

The clover lawn is the environmentally safe alternative, and more of the "meadow" health-encouraging lawns are showing up in the green-conscious neighborhoods about the nation, and even throughout our town.

Mowing the natural clover lawn, every 10 days or so, helps maintain a healthy lawn and keeps all local ordinances of lawn care intact/observed.

"Grow clover, retain healthy soil, and encourage a healthy environment. Keep Columbia green and environmentally safe/healthy. Preserve our natural resources, our soil, and our healthy breathing air environment. Keep those chemicals out of our soil."

(Report Comment)

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