December 7, 2023

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Johnson, Platte Top Healthy County List, Wyandotte Next-to-Last

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Drug overdoses are pushing up the premature death rates everywhere, particularly in metropolitan counties.

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s annual county health rankings, Johnson County clocks in as the healthiest in Kansas, and Platte wins top honors in Missouri. Clay came in third in Missouri and Cass sixth.

Wyandotte County, alas, ranked 101 out of 102 counties in Kansas, a slight improvement over last year when the county was 102 out of 102.

In Kansas, Johnson County led the state in just about all relevant variables–including smoking, health insurance, and quality of life–and had the lowest rates of premature death and child poverty.

Jackson County ranked 61st in Missouri out of 115 counties. Its ranking was dragged down by high rates of premature death, many due to murder and drugs. Drug overdoses, in fact, are pushing premature death rates up nationwide. They are now the leading cause of premature death.

According to the study, “Large suburban metro counties went from having the lowest to the highest rate of premature death due to drug overdose within the past decade.” Johnson and Platte seem to have withstood the trend.


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