Clark County health rankings better than most in state

Clark County ranks No. 14 in health outcomes and No. 12 in health factors out of 39 counties in Washington.

San Juan and King counties ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, for health outcomes. They swapped positions for health factors, according to the 2017 County Health Rankings compiled by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The health outcomes rank looks at length of life and quality of life, which includes poor physical and mental health days and low birth weight, among other factors.

In Clark County, 5,600 years of potential life is lost before age 75 per 100,000 people. That’s just slightly higher than the state estimate of 5,500.

And locally, 12 percent of people report poor or fair health and 6 percent of live births are babies with low birth weights.

In the health factors category, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment are used to determine score.

Clark County is getting worse in several areas within those subcategories, including adult obesity (30 percent), sexually transmitted infections (346.5 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people) and mammography screening (60 percent of Medicare enrolled 67 to 69 years old).

But the county is improving in many areas, too, such as preventable hospital stays, diabetes monitoring, violent crime, air pollution and alcohol-impaired driving deaths.

Neighboring Cowlitz County ranked No. 32 in health outcomes and No. 33 in health factors. Skamania County is 12th for health outcomes but 19th for health factors.

Last year, Clark County ranked No. 12 in health outcomes and No. 14 in health factors.

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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