Your County Health Rankings: A Closer Look at Lake Cumberland


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Introduction

The County Health Rankings system (find more information at County Health Rankings and Roadmaps) assumes that there is a relation between “Health Outcomes” (defined by “Length of Life” and “Quality of Life”) and “Health Factors” (defined by “Health Behaviors”, access to “Clinical Care”, “Social and Economic Factors”, and the “Physical Environment”).  In other words, there is an assumed relation between the “health” or one’s personal and community environment (“Health Factors”), and one’s actual “health” (“Health Outcomes”).

Please note: for the purposes of this webpage, and to aid with the ease of viewing data on the charts, the County Health rankings have been converted to scores. This is so the counties that are doing the best will appear higher on the charts than those doing less well. For example, a county with a “rank” of 1 out of 120 (or, 1st place), received a score of 120 out of 120 points. A county with a rank of 120 out of 120 (or, last place), received a score of only 1 out of 120 points.  To download a master file of the un-altered and altered Lake Cumberland Data in an Excel format, click: County Health Ranking 2011 – 2019.xlsx.


Analysis: The chart above, “2019 Health Outcomes to Health Factors Comparison”, seems to bear out the relation between “Health Outcomes” and “Health Factors”.  As you can see, our lowest scoring counties in regards to “Health Outcomes” also scored the lowest on “Health Factors”.  Conversely, the highest scoring counties in regards to “Health Outcomes” also scored the highest on “Health Factors”.  Therefore, there does appear to be a relationship between “Health Outcomes” and “Health Factors”.  Why is this important?  It suggests that, to improve one’s health, the health of one’s personal and community environment must improve; thus, the need for community health coalitions focused on improved health policy and health equity.

Lake Cumberland has a lot of work to do! In terms of “Health Outcomes”, none of our counties rank in the top 25% in the state. Only four are in the top half of the healthiest counties, Cumberland, Taylor, Adair and Green. We have three counties in the lowest 25% of the state, Wayne, Casey and McCreary. Compared to 2018, Clinton made the largest improvement in regards to “Health Outcomes”, improving by 30 positions; Cumberland improved by 13, Taylor by 11; and, Russell by 9. Wayne saw the largest drop, 14 positions; Adair, lost 8 positions; Casey 6; Green 4; McCreary 3; and, Pulaski 1.


Health Outcomes and Health Factors by County: Trended

Use the chart and table below to view your county’s “Health Outcomes” and “Health Factors” scores over time.

Select and De-select counties by clicking the legend options.

Analysis: By manipulating the chart above, one can see that Adair, Casey, Green, Pulaski, Taylor and Wayne have experienced drops in their “Health Outcomes”. Clinton and Cumberland made the sharpest improvements.

Also, you will see that Green has the best “Health Outcomes” over time, while McCreary has the lowest.  It is said the health correlates with wealth. By reviewing the “Health Factors Breakdown” table and chart below, one will discover that McCreary has the highest instance of “Children in Poverty”, while Green has the lowest.


Premature Death and Low Birthweight

Two of the most significant sub-areas of “Health Outcomes” are “Premature Death” and “Low Birthweight”.  Low scores in either area reflect poorly on a community’s overall health.  Use the chart below to view your county’s results.

Please note: To ease comparison, all areas have been converted to ratios by taking a county’s result in an area and making it a ratio to the state’s result in the corresponding area.  Therefore, “1” is equal to the state’s baseline.  For example, Casey’s 2019 result of 1.36 in the area of “Premature Death” means those rates are .36 or 36% greater than state average.  Similarly, Adair’s 2019 result of 0.94 in the area of “Premature Death” means those rates are .94 or 94% of the state average (or 6% lower than the state average).

Select and De-select counties by clicking the legend options.

Analysis: Adair has the lowest instances of “Premature Death” and McCreary has the highest.  Over the last couple years, Cumberland’s rate has improved some and continued to hold steady at the better rate. In 2019, Clinton saw the largest drop in premature death, while Casey, the largest increase.

Thankfully, “Low Birth Weight” is an issue trending better over time for Lake Cumberland. While Adair, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, Pulaski and Wayne are all better than state average, all over our district our county’s rates are improving over time. From 2018 to 2019 Clinton showed the greatest improvement drooping from being 25% higher to 7% lower than state average.


Health Factors Breakdown

Use the table and chart below to breakdown your county’s “Health Factors” sub-areas.  It may prove helpful to use a “split screen” to compare the “Health Factors Breakdown” trend chart below with either the “Health Outcomes & Health Factors” trend chart above, or with the “Premature Death and Low Birthweight” trend chart directly above.

Please note: To ease comparison, all areas have been converted to ratios by taking a county’s result in an area and making it a ratio to the state’s result in the corresponding area.  Therefore, “1” is equal to the state’s baseline.  For example, Adair’s 2018 result of 1.09 in the area of “Adult obesity” means their obesity rates are .09 or 9% higher than the state average.  Similarly, their result of 1.00 in 2016 means they were at state average.

Select among the “Health Factor’s Sub-areas” by using the filter below. Select and De-select counties by clicking the legend options above.