WXXI AM News

Reports offers insights on region's health

Aug 13, 2019

A report released Tuesday offers data about the Rochester region’s health.

The Community Health Indicator Report found that in the 13 counties around the region, smoking is higher than the national average, as is obesity.

RocHealthData builds maps and reports using local health data.
Credit RocHealthData.org

The report also found that about two-thirds of people in the region who have high blood pressure have the condition under control. Around 74 percent of people with diabetes are managing their condition as well, the research found.

Kathleen Holt, a staff scientist with the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Clinical & Translational Science Institute and Center for Community Health & Prevention, said the database presents opportunities for medical researchers and clinicians, as well as the public.

“I think for researchers, this gives them a source of data, so if they are planning a research project, they may target intervention in counties where smoking rates, for example, are particularly high,” Holt said. “So I think there’s a real benefit to the research community such as the one we have at the university.”

Holt said that the overall numbers look good for Rochester compared with the nation. Obesity, for one, didn’t stray far from the national trend.

“Obesity rates have been going up all across the nation, so I don’t know that Rochester is really different in that way,” Holt said.

Of the 13 counties analyzed, Orleans County had both the highest rates of smoking and obesity.

She added that this research is exceptional. It was done using clinical data, like lab tests, rather than surveys which she said tend to be less accurate.

“These are sets of data that no one else to my knowledge has put out there, so there aren’t other regions of the country that have data about diabetes control rates and high blood pressure control rates based on actual clinical data,” she says.

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce commissioned the report, while the Regional Health Information Organization compiled it using a sample of more than 600,000 clinical observations.

That research can be found Rochealthdata.org. Users will need to register to access interactive maps and observe the data using different demographic filters, such as for age ranges and gender.