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Allegheny County Improves In Statewide Health Ranking

University of Wisconsin

Premature deaths and infant mortality rates are dropping as Allegheny County continues to improve in health rankings statewide.

That’s according to an annual study conducted by the University of Wisconsin looking at the overall health of all U.S. counties.

Allegheny County ranked 26th among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and has climbed steadily for the last five years. Philadelphia County ranked last, though nearby Chester County came in as the healthiest in the state.

For clinical care, Allegheny County ranked 18th statewide and 52nd when it came to physical environment, which included standards such as air quality, commuting alone and drinking water. 

The rate of premature deaths is falling nationally. It's falling to an even lower rate in Allegheny County.

Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, said cardiovascular health has also gotten better across the county, but obesity rates and other health issues still have room for improvement.

“I think that there are some areas, for example, that we have no excuse for, like mammography screening," Hacker said. "With all the health care we have, we should be able to get those rates up.” 

Hacker said drug overdose also continue to plague the Allegheny County and that she hopes to target the worsening STD rates. 

Virginia reports on identity and justice for 90.5 WESA. That means looking at how people see themselves in the community, and how the community makes them feel. Her reporting examines things like race, policing, and housing to tell the stories of folks we often don't hear from.
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