The data come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is the world’s largest ongoing telephone health survey. It has tracked health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States on an annual basis since 1984.
Five years’ worth of county-specific data are now available for many types of health indicators on the Kentucky Health Facts website. The site features data on demographics, social and behavioral indicators, health outcomes, access to care, and maternal and child health, much of which can be useful to journalists all over Kentucky.
The Health Outcomes category, for example, looks at a county’s premature-death rate, motor-vehicle deaths, prevalence of asthma, diabetes prevalence and cancer deaths. The Maternal and Child Health category looks at adequacy of prenatal care, infant mortality rates, teen birth rates and prevalence of youth who smoke cigarettes. It compares that data to the rest of the state and nation.
The data paint a detailed picture of what is happening in a specific area. One interesting nugget in the newly updated data on asthma show that in Warren County (Bowling Green), the percentage of adults with the respiratory condition has nearly doubled from 10 percent in 2003-05 to 19 percent in 2007-09. Here is the county asthma map:
The data can be viewed by going to www.kentuckyhealthfacts.org or by clicking here. Kentucky Health Facts is a service of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.