Report shows Cass County ranks 92nd out of 99 counties in IA for overall health


March 21st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A new report on county-by-county health in Iowa shows Cass County is ranked 92ndout of 99 in overall health.

Counties shown in white are among the top 25 healthiest in Iowa; Those shown in gray rank 26th-50th; Those in a light shade of green rank 51st-74th, and those counties shown in dark green rank 75th to 99th, or least healthiest.

The findings are in the “2013 County Health Rankings” study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The study compares the health of counties in every state across the nation, measured by overall health and factors that influence health. Of Iowa’s 99 counties, Sioux County ranked highest in overall health outcomes; Johnson County was ranked highest for all factors that influence health.

In the immediate KJAN listening area, Shelby County ranked highest on the list, in 23rd place, followed by Guthrie County in 34th, and Adair County, which was ranked 49th. On the upper end of the rankings, Audubon County placed 72nd, Pottawattamie County 88th, Cass County 92nd, Montgomery County ranked 94th, and Adams County was near the bottom of the list, in 97th place.

More specifically, Cass County has a higher rate of mortality/premature deaths than the statewide average. We also are higher in the number of obese residents as compared to the statewide average, but lower in excessive drinking and sexually transmitted diseases. Conversely, Cass County was higher than the statewide average, in the areas of teen births, and motor vehicle fatalities. Twelve percent of the residents in Cass County do not have medical insurance, which is slightly more than the statewide average, and there is a higher number of children living in poverty, than across the state.

The County Health Rankings were compiled taking into account a wide range of health factors, including healthy behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. For a county-by-county breakdown of the factors and rankings, go to