Although Davidson County fares better than the overall state for certain health measures, there’s plenty of room to improve.
In a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Davidson County ranked 17th among Tennessee’s 95 counties in terms of health outcomes, measures like the rates of people dying before age 75, rates of low birth weight babies and the number of days people report being in poor physical or mental health.
The county ranked 35th for health factors — various measures of physical environment, clinical care, health behaviors and social and economic factors.
Neighboring Williamson County was No. 1 on both lists.
Sumner, Rutherford, Moore and Blount round out the top five for health outcomes. Ranking the lowest for health outcomes are Johnson, Rhea, Cocke, Carroll and Hancock counties.
“While rankings like this can assist in seeing where the strengths and weaknesses are in a community, ultimately it takes all of us — public health, health care, business, education, and government sectors and individuals — to take steps and create programs and policies that will help people lead healthier lives,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Susan Cooper in a statement.
According to the data, Davidson County ranked 8th in the state for clinical care measures, faring better than the state average for the number of primary care providers relative to the population and the number of preventable hospital stays.
But low rankings in areas like physical environment, where Davidson was only 91 of 95, pulled down its overall health factors score. The county fares worse on measures of air pollution, access to healthy foods and liquor store density than the state average.