Per Montgomery County: Montgomery County health officials today released “Health Survey in Montgomery County, MD 2022,” a report on local health status and behaviors. While the County ranks first for most health outcomes and health factors among Maryland counties, the unavailability of sub-county level data makes the understanding of health variations within the community difficult and can prevent planning efforts and resource allocation for population subgroups and communities. The findings from the health survey will help public health officials and policy makers target specific population and communities at high risk to address health equity and to improve population health.
The County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) worked with Rockville-based Westat to design a mail-in survey to assess community health needs for Montgomery County residents aged 18 and older. The report is the first primary quantitative data collected to assess community health needs and will complement findings from other secondary quantitative data and qualitative data collected from key informant interviews and focus groups meetings. The findings will be included in Healthy Montgomery’s upcoming Community Health Needs Assessment.
“In public health, data is everything, and if we can get more localized data, that’s even better,” said James Bridgers, acting director of DHHS and chief of its public health services. “Despite the availability of county-level data from some federal and state level surveys, it is essential for us to monitor local data trends over time through the regular collection of local health survey data. This is an important guide to help in our efforts to reduce health disparities in our community.”
The report summarizes findings from the health survey, including demographics of respondents, health and health related priorities, access to health care, impact from COVID-19 and health status and health related behaviors. Key findings of the report include:
- Overall, mental health (18.3 percent) is the most important health problem and availability/access to insurance (12.8 percent) is the most important social/environmental factor.
- Poor eating habits (17.4 percent) are the most important risky behavior and low crime/safe neighborhoods (20.9 percent) are the most important factor making up a healthy community.
- Cost (33.3 percent) was the most important reason for not getting health care and 9.6 percent of respondents did not have health insurance. More than 75 percent (76.4 percent) of residents visited a health care provider last year and 75.9 percent of respondents have a primary care provider (PCP).
- 23.5 percent of respondents reported not participating in any physical activity and 61.6 percent reported drinking at least one alcoholic beverage in the past 30 days.
- 7.6 percent of respondents reported never having blood cholesterol checked, and 10.4 percent of respondents reported their last dental visit to be five or more years ago.
- 2.6 percent of respondents reported that they smoke daily and 10.2 percent reported e-cigarette/vaping use.
- Depressive disorder (25.7 percent) was the most common health condition, followed by arthritis (21.7 percent) and diabetes (15.9 percent).
On the COVID-19 impact topics, 52.3 percent of respondents indicated a family member or friend outside their household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, 15.7 percent reported that they have never received the flu vaccine and 14 percent of respondents reported that personal and family finances were the area with the highest COVID-19 impact. Health care assistance (8.4 percent) was the area needed most by respondents and less than one percent (0.6 percent) reported that they were not interested in COVID-19 testing.
Results are stratified by sex, age, race/ethnicity, and geographic areas to examine variations by subpopulations and communities across Montgomery County.
To view the full report, visit the publication and report section of the DHHS website. For information about Healthy Montgomery, visit their website.
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