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Feb 19, 2010 2:40 AM by Carina Corral

County-by-county health report

A new report out is believed to be the first county-by-county snapshot on America's health.

Published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it compares counties within states.

Then, each county is given two rankings: one for "health outcome," which is based on the length of life and the quality of life; the second, a health factor ranking based on behavioral, clinical, social and economic, and environmental factors.

"We've got to make sure the things communities focus on are really important to them," said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

So, just how healthy are Central Coast residents compared to the rest of the state?

According to the report, in California, San Luis Obispo County ranked 11th and Santa Barbara County ranked 20th of 56 counties in "health outcome."

As for "health factors," San Luis Obispo County ranked 7th with stats such as: 11 percent of adults smoke, 21 percent of adults are uninsured, 84 percent graduate from high school, and 40 percent have access to health food stores.

Santa Barbara County came in 17th in health factors with numbers such as: 13 percent of adults smoke, 25 percent are uninsured, 79 percent graduate from high school, and 46 percent have access to health food stores, including produce stands and farmers' markets.

In California, Marin topped the list for healthiest county, all around.

Overall, the report finds cities and suburbs tend to be healthier than rural areas.

The hope is that it encourages steps in the right direction, one county at a time.

"People can get engaged - right now, right away - in making their communities healthier," said Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey.

Click here for a link to the full report.

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