Health and Science
Mon May 28, 2012
Wisconsin health report says we live longer, but maybe not better
A report on the health of those in Wisconsin shows we're living longer, but not necessarily well. Obesity has increased, and excessive alcohol use continues.
Ten year trends in a new health report show progress: rates of smoking have gone down significantly and there are fewer teen births in Wisconsin. The report from the UW Population Health Institute also shows death rates in all age groups have declined or stayed the same. But people's perceptions about the quality of their life hasn't gone up says Associate Dean of Public Health Dr. Pat Remington, "When you ask people about their self-reported health whether they're in fair or poor health the percentage of people who say they're in fair or poor heath has been increasing about six-percent in the last decade. So it appears we're living longer, maybe not better "
The report also shows the state is going backwards, not forward, in creating healthy communities.
"We've seen increased rates in people who are uninsured; in high school dropouts, unemployment and the rates of poverty; even rates of rates of violent crime have increased," he says. "So if you think of these as the foundation for a healthy community, we're going in the wrong direction"
Remington says these social and economic factors, along with increasing rates of obesity by more than three-percent a year, could mean widespread poor health in the future.