Report: Parish health ranks 32nd in state

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A new report finds the healthiest parish in Louisiana is West Feliciana and the least healthy is East Carroll.

That’s according to new rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

St. Mary Parish ranked 32nd among Louisiana’s 64 parishes.

However, the parish ranked 10th in physical environment.

St. Mary Parish ranked 53rd out of the state’s parishes for health behaviors.

The parish is above the state average for adult obesity with 38 percent of adults obese compared to 33 percent for the state.

This is the fourth year for the groups to assess nearly every county in the United States. They look at health behaviors such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and sexually transmitted infections. They also look at the percentage of uninsured residents and social and economic factors such as education levels and unemployment rates.

St. Tammany Parish, which was ranked first in the last three reports, ranked third this year.

Rounding out the top five healthiest parishes behind West Feliciana are: Cameron, St. Tammany, Plaquemines and Lafayette. The least healthy parishes above East Carroll are Tensas, Bienville, Catahoula and Madison.

Dr. Takeisha Davis, assistant state health officer with the Department of Health and Hospitals, said parishes such as West Feliciana and St. Tammany have always ranked high in the report because of the large amount of educated people from those areas.

“Seventy percent of the factors looked at for the report involve health behaviors and social economic factors so you have a high amount of education with high amounts of high school graduation rates and college graduates,” Davis said.


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