WXXI AM News

Health discrepancies between Monroe and surrounding counties

Mar 22, 2019

 

A report on health in New York state counties released this week puts Monroe County close to the middle of the field, but some of its surrounding counties fell much further toward the top or the bottom of the rankings.

Health outcomes differ widely, even between neighboring counties in New York.
Credit County Health Rankings

Monroe County ranked 23rd out of New York’s 62 counties in terms of years lost from people’s lives because of premature deaths, according to the study from the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Livingston County ranked 12th, and Orleans County ranked 50th.

In their report, the researchers said life expectancy is not just determined by “what happens at the doctor’s office,” nor can it be chalked up to genetics. Social and environmental factors have a big influence on people’s health, they said, and they’re tracking a wide range of variables to help explain the discrepancies across counties and races.

The researchers looked at how long people spend commuting, and whether they commute alone. They looked at how easy it is for people to find opportunities to exercise, and how many doctors and dentists were available in each county.

All of that data can go help health officials develop strategies to improve people’s life expectancy. In some cases it’s a focus on reducing air pollution. In others it’s encouraging more doctors to set up shop. The researchers said there’s no one solution that will work for every county.