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County Releases Health Status Report; Compares County to State and National Outcomes

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 3, 2018

Health officials have released the first health status report for Montgomery County that includes information and data about a diverse set of health conditions such as life expectancy, chronic diseases and infectious diseases.  The report, Health in Montgomery County 2008-2016, A Surveillance Report on Population Health, highlights where Montgomery County stands in comparison to state and national health outcomes.

"Montgomery County fares better than the state and national averages for many health benchmarks, such as life expectancy, the data also suggests several concerning trends in access and utilization of care services, disparities in a number of categories, such as infant mortality and chronic disease management," said County Health Officer Dr. Travis A. Gayles. "Our goal is to utilize the data to enhance our many successful current health programs and develop new, innovative and effective programs that are directly applicable to meeting the public health needs of Montgomery County."

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 isn't 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.

Overall, health outcomes in Montgomery County have performed better than state and national averages.  Nevertheless, there are several health conditions with increasing trends and disparities by race/ethnicity, age, sex and geographic areas that warrant special attention.

Findings of the report include:

  • The county's population is becoming more diverse over time; 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 mortality and ER visit rates.
  • Tuberculosis rates in the county were consistently higher than in Maryland and the U.S.  Asian/Pacific Islanders had the highest rates.
  • Though substance abuse related ER visit rates were consistently lower than in Maryland, 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.
The report serves as a companion to the County's 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment, which is available online at https://bit.ly/2HHpi4I.  For more information, contact Chunfu Liu at chunfu.liu@montgomerycountymd.gov. Release ID: 18-541
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6534