Clark County’s community health

Clark County has more Alzheimer’s disease deaths, more syphilis cases and fewer women getting routine pap tests than its peer communities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week released updated health profiles for all of the more than 3,100 counties in the U.S.

Each profile includes key indicators of health outcomes, which describe the population health status of a county and factors that have the potential to influence health outcomes, such as health care access and quality, health behaviors, social factors and the physical environment, according to the CDC.

The Clark County profile shows we rank in the least favorable quartile for Alzheimer’s deaths (41.9 deaths per 100,000 people), syphilis rate (5.3 cases per 100,000 people) and routine pap tests (73.5 percent of women get them).

Clark County also scored unfavorably for high housing costs, unemployment and housing stress.

But it wasn’t all bad news. In fact, Clark County fared far better in numerous categories.

Clark County is in the most favorable quartile for chronic kidney disease deaths (7.5 deaths per 100,000 people), chronic lower respiratory disease deaths (45.3 per 100,000) and coronary heart disease deaths (103.3 per 100,000).

The county also scored well for life expectancy, motor vehicle deaths and stroke deaths.

Adult diabetes, gonorrhea, preterm births, adult smoking and teen births in Clark County all ranked in the most favorable quartile, as well.

Clark County was in the middle of the pack for cancer and diabetes deaths, adult obesity, HIV, adult binge drinking and uninsured rates.

You can check out the updated Community Health Status Indicators profiles at

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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