Placer County ranks among 50 healthiest U.S. communities

Want to live in one of the 50 healthiest communities in the nation without leaving the Sacramento region? Well, just move on over to Placer County.

In an article released Tuesday, U.S. News & World Report ranked Placer at No. 35 on its list of the nation’s Healthiest Communities for 2021 after examining metrics that drive better health for 3,000 counties. Teaming with researchers from the University of Missouri and independent experts, the magazine’s staff weighed data on education, housing, nutrition, environment, equity and other factors that affect health.

Placer was the highest-ranking county in California, with Santa Clara ranked 40th and San Mateo 43rd.

The list of Healthiest Communities numbers 500 counties overall. A few others in the region made the list: Nevada at 267th, El Dorado at 284th and Solano at 425th. Placer, Nevada and El Dorado counties are all within easy distances of extensive green

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Clark County among least healthy counties in Ohio, according to national data

Clark County’s ranking looks at the most recent health data available for factors like adult obesity (37%), low birthweight babies (9%) and flu vaccination rates (48%). But the rankings also consider a range of social factors that drive health like high school completion (89%), severe housing problems (13%) and children living in poverty (21%).

Those figures are then compared to the state and national average to determine a county’s ranking.

Marietta Orlowski, chair of the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at Wright State University, said it is important to measure social drivers of health because they are important root causes of health outcomes and because things that get measured tend to also get resources.

For example, people can learn at the doctor’s office how to properly manage their asthma.

“But if they’re living in an environment with poor air quality and mold, doing a behavior-oriented intervention isn’t going

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Consenting for treatment in advance to reduce leaving the hospital against medical advice among patients with addiction

drug addict
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) being treated for serious medical conditions are more likely to leave the hospital against medical advice (AMA) than those without addiction. A special type of contract with healthcare providers might enable patients to consent in advance to life-saving medical care—even if they later refuse treatment, according to a commentary in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

The Substance Use Advance Directive (SUAD) “has the potential to greatly improve the current state of treatment for life-threatening comorbid conditions in SUD patients through reducing AMA discharges,” writes Paul Tobias, MD, JD, MBA, of Ohio Health, Columbus.

But in an accompanying commentary, Kelly K. Dineen, JD, Ph.D., of Creighton University, Omaha, Neb., cites “obvious practical and ethical challenges” to the SUAD concept, including the lack of any legal basis for overruling patients

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