Montgomery County Releases Population Health Report; Includes Details on MoCo’s Demographic Changes, Leading Causes of Death, and Adolescents Births

by Patrick Herron

Findings of the report, per Montgomery County: 

  • The County’s population is becoming more diverse; the non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic populations have increased while the non-Hispanic White population is decreasing.
  • Births to adolescent mothers in the County have decreased over time and the County’s rates are consistently lower than those in Maryland and the U.S.
  • The leading causes of death in the County were cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, accidents, and chronic lower respiratory disease.
  • Though heart disease mortality has decreased in the County; heart disease related emergency room (ER) visit rates increased; however, the County had lower rates of mortality and ER visits than in Maryland.  Non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest ER visit rates. Tuberculosis rates in the County were consistently higher than in Maryland and  U.S.  Asian/Pacific Islanders had the highest rates. Although substance abuse related ER visit rates were consistently lower than the State, the substance abuse related ER visit rates and drug induced mortality rates in the County increased over time.  Non-Hispanic Whites and persons ages 18-34 had the highest rates.
  • Motor vehicle related mortality and hospitalization rates decreased in the County.  County rates were consistently lower than in Maryland; non-Hispanic Blacks and persons ages 18-34 had the highest ER visit rates.

“Montgomery County fares better than state and national averages for many health benchmarks, such as life expectancy, but the data also suggests several concerning trends in access and utilization of care services, and disparities in a number of categories, such as infant mortality and chronic disease management,” said Dr. James Bridgers, acting County health officer.   “Our goal is to utilize the data to enhance our current health programs and develop new, innovative, accessible, and effective programs that are directly applicable to meeting the public health needs of our residents.” The report completes a core function of public health: surveillance and data collection, analysis and interpretation for disease prevention and control. While there are different data sets available that highlight different statistics, there is not a central source that reports the County health statistics across a broad set of health conditions and concerns. The goal is to present the data to the community so that it can serve as a source of knowledge, bring attention to areas of success and weakness, and potentially serve as a basis for further analysis by stakeholders to design appropriate programming and interventions to address gaps in outcomes.

For more information and to view a copy of the full report, visit the DHHS website.


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