Ohio’s Health is Not Well


Ohio just released its 2016 state health assessment (SHA) which provides data needed to inform health improvement priorities and strategies in the state, and by employers. Several national scorecards and rankings place Ohio in the bottom quartile of states for health. According to the report: “… Ohio’s performance on population health outcomes has steadily declined relative to other states over the past few decades, falling from a rank of 27 in 1990 in America’s Health Rankings to 39 in 2015.” Among the key findings: “While Ohio faces many behavioral health challenges, including poor access to care and high prevalence of depression, the rise in opiate-related drug overdose deaths stands out as an immediate threat to the wellbeing of Ohioans. … The unintentional injury death rate, which includes drug overdoses, increased 30 percent from 2009 to 2014 and emerged as Ohio’s second highest cause of premature death … “Given that unintentional injuries (largely from drug overdoses) and cancer were the two leading causes of premature death in Ohio, addictions to opiates and nicotine (due to Ohio’s high tobacco use rates) may be two of the greatest challenges to health and well-being in the state. “Chronic diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, as well as related risk factors such as tobacco use and poor nutrition, stand out as concerns for Ohio.”  8/23/2016