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CDC: Health Risks Lowest In Multnomah County

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Multnomah County fares better than the nation in many categories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2007 SMART (Selected Metropolitan/Micropolitan Area Risk Trends) report. The SMART report offers 2007 data on adult health risk behaviors and preventive health practices related to chronic disease and injury.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based system of health surveys conducted by CDC, collects data from all 50 states and U.S. territories on health-related behaviors. According to the CDC, more than 350,000 adults are interviewed each year, making the BRFSS the largest telephone health survey in the world.

Multnomah County results show local health indicators are significantly better than national results for:

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• Pneumonia vaccination rates for aged 65 and older
• Cigarette smoking
• Diabetes
• High blood pressure
• Consuming 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily
• Physical activity
• Healthy bodyweight

Nine Multnomah County health indicator rates are similar to national rates, and only one was worse: the percent of those who are limited in any activities because of physical, mental, or emotional problems.

Since 2007, in partnership with agencies and individuals in the disability community, the Health Department has steadily increased its health promotion activities for people with disabilities. To date, these activities have included a Health Promotion Summit, a survey of primary care clients with disabilities, and an Autism Awareness campaign.

According to Lillian Shirley, Multnomah County Health Department director, “This survey helps us to monitor health outcomes in the population and evaluate public health policies and programs. We’re right on track with our local efforts to reduce chronic diseases like diabetes, and encourage positive behaviors such as exercising and eating healthy food.”