The central Midlands is healthier than most regions in South Carolina.
In the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s annual ranking of county health rankings, Lexington ranks fourth in the state, Richland eighth and Kershaw 10th. Beaufort County is No. 1, while the Charleston area also ranks high with Dorchester sixth, Charleston seventh and Berkeley 9th.
Of course, all of South Carolina generally comes in well below national health benchmarks in almost every category. (One interesting exception: Richland is in the top 10 percent of counties nationally one dentist for every 1,471 residents.)
The rankings are based on factors such as healthy behaviors, healthcare availability, education, unemployment and the physical environment.
Some of the interesting notes:
• 56 percent of restaurants in Richland County are considered fast-food establishments, compared to 51 percent in Lexington and 55 percent in Kershaw.
• 20 percent of Kershaw County residents are uninsured, compared to 17 percent in Richland and 18 percent in Lexington.
• The ratio of primary care physicians to population is 1,213-1 in Richland, 1,722-1 in Lexington and 1,819-1 in Kershaw.
• Adult obesity ratings are 31 percent in Richland and Lexington, 32 percent in Kershaw.
For the full report, go to http://www.countyhealthrankings.org.
Youth sports injuries declining overall
Children in the U.S. are suffering fewer sports and recreation injuries, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by Dr. Shital Parikh, an orthopaedic surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, focused on injuries to bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves.
Reviewing records compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the study found sports and recreation musculoskeletal injuries for ages 5-14 decreased by 12.4 percent from 2000 to 2010.
The major decrease (24.9 percent) was seen in bike, roller sports, trampoline and playground injuries. Parikh noted that some of that decrease is related to fewer children taking part in those unorganized, non-team sports. Helmet laws and sports injury awareness campaigns also contributed, he said.
Football and soccer, however, bucked the trend. Injuries increased by 22.8 percent among football players and 10.8 percent among soccer players.
For information on sports injury prevention, go to www.stopsportsinjuries.org.
Workshops planned to help deal with Alzheimer’s
A series of workshops starting in late April are designed to help people learn to cope during the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.
The workshops, put together by the Alzheimer’s Association, are set for April 23, April 30 and May 7 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Airport Campus of Midlands Tech. They will be in room 143 at the Academic Center at 1260 Lexington Drive.
The three-part program discusses what you need to know, what you need to plan and what you can do to navigate this chapter of your life.
To register, call (800) 272-3900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compiled by Joey Holleman