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Published: Thursday, 3/27/2014 - Updated: 1 year ago

Lucas County health rank shows little improvement

Report says most Ohio, Mich. areas unchanged


Lucas County again remained in the bottom third of Ohio counties in health rankings, while Putnam County was again among the healthiest statewide, a report released Wednesday shows.

For the second consecutive year, Lucas County’s health outcomes ranking among the state’s 88 counties was 68, the same as in 2013, according to an annual report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The county health rankings report, which examines a wide range of factors affecting community health, including air pollution levels, income, obesity, excessive drinking, births-to-teen rates, drinking water quality, and unemployment, scored Putnam County at No. 2 for the second consecutive year.

While Lucas County showed slight improvements in the categories of quality of life, health behaviors and factors, clinical care, and social economic factors, the changes are too small to draw any conclusions about the county’s overall health, said Dr. David Grossman, commissioner of the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.

“There is not much change from year to year,” he said. “But, it does give you a good number to look at and these are things we should pay attention to, like teen births and obesity.”

Most of the counties in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan went unchanged or showed only slight improvements or declines in health rankings between 2013 and 2014.

Statewide, Henry County made a large increase, from 27 to 21. Defiance County went from 28 to 25, and Hancock County, at 10, and Seneca County, at 16, jumped two places. Wood County moved up one position to 6th place in Ohio. Ottawa County remained at 11, while Fulton County dropped from 10 to 12 and Williams County fell from 19 to 22.

For the second consecutive year, Geauga County ranked No. 1 in Ohio. Scioto County ranked at the bottom at No. 88.

In Michigan, Monroe County increased slightly, 37 to 25, and Lenawee County, at 21, dropped two places between 2013 and 2014.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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