DuPage County has been ranked the healthiest county to live in Illinois, according to the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. The rankings, put out each year by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, took into account both health outcomes and health factors, with DuPage coming in first for both: a repeat performance from 2021.
“A first overall ranking for the second consecutive year highlights the priority that DuPage County has placed on health and well-being. We realize the importance of maximizing the health of every resident supports our county’s vibrancy and future success as a community,” said Karen Ayala, Executive Director of DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) in a press release from the DCHD. “We will continue our work to further improve the health of our communities, recognizing that not all residents enjoy the same access or outcomes.”
The health factors section of the report assessed what might affect residents health in the future, such as healthy behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and the physical environment of the county. DuPage County scored particularly high on access to exercise opportunities, with a 99% rating. Data also showed that just 6% of residents of the county are uninsured, and only 11% of adults smoke.
DuPage also came in high with social & economic factors, with a 93% result for high school completion, and 79% of the population who had completed some college.
The health factors section of the report assessed the current health of residents, looking at both physical and mental health, along with premature death, which was noted as all deaths under the age of 75. The report showed the largest amount of premature deaths in DuPage County was due to cancer. DuPage County showed the average of physical unhealthy days reported in the past 30 days by residents at 3, below the state average of 3.56. The average of mentally unhealthy days in that same time frame for DuPage residents was 3.7, again below the state average of 4.2
“I think it’s particularly meaningful, that as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, DuPage County remains the healthiest county in Illinois. That means, together with our DuPage County Health Department, our healthcare system partners and other providers, we lived up to our commitment to put our residents and their health first as we navigated this crisis,” said DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin in the DCHD press release.
The health department credited programs like the DuPage County Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Taskforce, Behavioral Health Collaborative (BHC) and the recently formed Health Equity and Access Response Team (HEART) as part of the reason for the county’s high rankings
Looking at some neighboring counties to DuPage, Will County came in at 10th in Illinois for health outcomes, and 16th for health factors. Kendall County was right below DuPage County for health outcomes at number two, but sixth for health factors. Lake County landed at fifth place for both health outcomes and health factors. And Kane County took seventh for health outcomes, but was number 40 for health factors.
The full report for all counties can be found on the County Health Rankings & Report website.
Naperville News 17’s Tim Jacobi Reports
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