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Taylor Wiersma walks her dog, Jasmine, on Tuesday along Riverview Drive. The riverfront was a positive in the annual report for Clinton County, but overall, the county dropped to 93rd out of 99 counties for health.

Natalie Conrad/Clinton Herald
Herald Staff Writer

Clinton County has moved further toward the bottom in the rankings of healthy Iowa communities released Tuesday.

In the 2012 County Health Rankings, Clinton County ranks 93 out of 99 Iowa counties in the County Health Rankings. The county moved down in the rankings from 89 in 2011.

This year’s rankings include several new features: new measures, such as how many fast food restaurants are in a county and levels of physical inactivity among residents and graphs illustrating premature death trends over 10 years.

Along with Clinton County’s overall ranking, several of the contributing rankings also dropped further on the list. For health outcomes, which includes mortality and morbidity, Clinton ranked 93 compared to 89 last year. However the number of premature deaths decreased from 7,279 to 7,232. For morbidity, Clinton moved down two spots to 98 with poor physical health days and poor mental health days increasing.

Health factor includes health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment. Clinton County remained at 90 for health factors. In health behaviors, which includes smoking, obesity, drinking, motor vehicle crash rate, sexually transmitted infections and teen birth rate, the county ranks 95th. This year saw a dramatic decrease in STDs from 425 to 323.

In regards to clinical care, Clinton dropped from 15 to 52. The category includes uninsured adults, primary care physicians, preventable hospital stays, diabetic screening and mammography screening. The measures varied little otherwise.

Clinton fell from 83 in social and economic factors down to 90. The high school graduation percentage remained the same, while the amount of residents with some college dropped from 60 percent to 58 percent. Children in poverty increased by 2 percent. Social and economic factors also included inadequate social support and children in single-parent households.

One of the most significant social and economic factors was the violent crime rate. In 2012, Clinton County reported 634 violent crimes with a crime rate of 430. Clinton’s rate is the eighth highest of all 99 Iowa counties. Nearby Scott County was also high with a violent crime rate of 519, reporting 2,550 violent crimes. The rate is measured per capita per 100,000 population.

Physical environment improved from 94 to 87, although many of the factors were either the same as last year or new measures added this year.

Whiteside County ranked 38 out of 102 Illinois counties, up from 44. For health factors the county moved down from 69 to 74. Health behaviors, clinical care and social and economic factors all moved down in the rankings. Sexually Transmitted Infections increased from 279 to 325. Physical environment improved significantly from 77 to 37.

Jackson County ranked 66 in the Iowa counties, up from 68 in 2011. Carroll County ranked 29 in the Illinois counties, down from 27 last year.

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