18 March 2010

Health Care in West Virginia

A new set of rankings suggests that a health divide separates West Virginia, The Associated Press reports.

"Counties in southern West Virginia, led by McDowell County, suffer from poorer health and shorter life expectancy than their northern counterparts," writes AP's Tom Breen. "These counties have higher-than-average rates of smoking and obesity and see more premature deaths than the rest of the state."

Such findings are contrasted by those further north. "Monongalia County, on the Pennsylvania border, ranks first in health behaviors, with Pendleton County getting the laurels for health outcomes," the article said. "Joining them are northern counties like Jefferson, Grant and Ohio."

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation compiled the data with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

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