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King County statistics show many residents unhealthy

King County Community Health indicators released late last year measure the health and well-being of county residents as well as access to care, risk factors and chronic conditions. While many indicators show that King County residents are healthier or are better off than many areas of the country, officials point out that they still leave cause for concern. Here is a partial of key indicators based on the latest complete data available.

• More than 12 percent of adults in King County and four percent of children under 18 did not have health insurance in 2008.

• Data on childhood immunizations (from 2006 complete data that was available) indicates that 30 percent of children from 19 to 36 months were not vaccinated as recommended. Five out of every 100 children in King County (in 2007) were born to mothers who had no prenatal care.

• In 2008, more than one-fifth of all adults in King County did not see a dentist during the previous 12 months during 2008.

• Five percent of the adult population in the county has diabetes, and 6 percent of all children have asthma while more than 8 percent of all adults have asthma.

•Hospitalization rates for adult asthma and suicide are 42 per 100,000 people. Asthma-related hospitalizations for children occur at a rate of 137 per 100,000. Persons in danger of suicide are hospitalized at the rate of 53 per 100,000 people.

•More than 8 percent of all King County residents experience “frequent mental distress.”

•AIDS/HIV infections in King County stands at 332 per every 100,000 people.

•In King County, the rate of death from colon cancer is 13 per 100,000; breast cancer deaths occur at a rate of 19 per 100,000 people and heart disease deaths occur at a rate of 142 per 100,000 people. Stroke deaths occur at 38 per 100,000. Diabetes-related deaths are 60 per 100,000 people.

•Nearly 11 percent of adults in King County smoked in 2008 and nearly 9 percent of students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 did so.

•County statistics show that more than half of all adults in King County were overweight in 2008 and more than 20 percent were categorized as obese. Twenty-one percent of all school-age students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 are considered overweight and nine percent of school aged children are considered obese in those same grade levels.

•Seventy percent of all adults do not meet recommended levels and 15 percent of county residents report no physical activity at all. Twenty percent of all residents are physically limited from having much activity.

Nearly 19 percent of all adults report excessive or binge drinking.

Ten percent of King County residents live in poverty.

But there is good news.

Life expectancy as of 2007 was 81.5 years. Those who were 65 years old in 2007 could expect to live nearly 21 more years. More than 90 percent hold high school diplomas and 44 percent have bachelor’s degrees.

More than 84 percent read to their children.

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