Aug 9, 2022 - News

DuPage leading collar counties in health data

Adult health behaviors in select Illinois counties
Data: County Health Rankings; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

A University of Wisconsin analysis recently ranked DuPage the healthiest county in the state when it comes to health factors like smoking and access to doctors.

Why it matters: DuPage also ranked the highest when it comes to health outcomes correlated to longer life.

  • When an entire county consistently checks in with better health than the rest of the state, it makes sense to look at some of the behaviors driving that health.

What's happening: Health behavior data in the six collar counties shows interesting comparisons in certain categories, including:

Smoking and drinking: At 11%, DuPage reports the lowest incidence of smoking among the collar counties, the rest of which check in closer to the state average of 15%.

  • The same goes for excessive drinking, with DuPage at 20% and the rest closer to the state average of 23%.

STI's and teen births: At 20 teen births per 1,000 teen females, Cook saw the worst ranking in the area, especially compared to DuPage's 7.

  • But Cook's worst showing compared to the rest of the collar counties was in chlamydia cases, with 882 cases per 100k people, compared to just 292 in DuPage, 241 in McHenry, and 420–450 in the other collars.

Alcohol-impaired driving: Cook County almost tied DuPage for the best rates.

  • At 24% and 23%, both come in lower than the state average of 29% and much lower than McHenry's 40%.
  • We guess it sometimes pays to live closer to Chicago bars.

What they're saying: DuPage County Health Department spokesperson Cailyn Laskowski attributes the county's stellar stats to a few different programs, including community health collaboration Impact DuPage.

  • She also credits a local opioid prevention task force and behavioral health collaborative to address the county's substance use and mental health needs, and points to ongoing work of the Health Equity and Access Response Team (HEART).

Yes, but: There's one very powerful health booster that gives DuPage an advantage that's hard for any health department to change — wealth.

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