Thursday, April 9, 2009

LA County rates better for lung cancer, but worse for heart disease

**Media Inquiries: please call (213) 240-8144. The following
demonstrates LA County's better rankings in areas such as lung cancer
and injuries, yet also shows the county's lower rankings in heart
disease and diabetes. Data provided by CADPH's County Comparisons
report. There's more where this came from, and Dr. Fielding can tell you
all about it. Thanks! Sarah**

For Immediate Release:
April 9, 2009

You're Doing Better (and worse) LA County
County comparison report shows LA County rates declining for lung
cancer and injuries, but increasing for heart disease and diabetes

LOS ANGELES - According to a recently released report, Los Angeles
County ranks in the top 10 healthiest counties in California when it
comes to lung cancer, injuries, motor vehicle accidents and prenatal
care, but it is among the least healthy for heart disease and diabetes.

"These findings demonstrate some of the real successes of local public
health efforts," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public
Health and Health Officer. "Local initiatives focused on prohibiting
smoking in public settings, increasing compliance with mandatory seat
belt and child car seat laws, and reducing alcohol and drug impaired
driving have contributed greatly to improving the health of the
county's residents."

The report, released jointly by the California Department of Public
Health and the California Conference of Local Health Officers, shows how
counties across the state compare on 30 health indicators that cover the
leading causes of death, rates of infectious diseases and birth
outcomes. A ranking of one indicates that the county is the healthiest
as compared to all other counties in California. Among all 58 counties,
LA County ranked 6th in injury-related deaths, 7th in making sure
mothers receive adequate prenatal care, 8th in deaths from lung cancer
and 9th in deaths from motor vehicle traffic.

Unfortunately, the county ranks poorly in such critical areas as heart
disease (48th) and diabetes (46th). "These two diseases especially take
a tremendous toll on the public's health, not only in terms of
premature death, but also in terms of pain and suffering, reduced
productivity, and heath care costs," said Dr. Fielding. "One of the
major risk factors for heart disease and diabetes is obesity, which is
epidemic in the county. We need to work together with cities and
community partners to create healthy places where families can be active
together and where they can purchase healthy foods. These diseases are
largely preventable with good nutrition, regular physical activity,
avoidance of tobacco and access to quality medical care."

To see the complete list of rankings for Los Angeles County, please
visit For
a list of rankings for all counties in California, visit

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and
improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles
County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and
services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control,
and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000
employees and an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more
about Public Health and the work we do, please visit


Sarah Kissell
Public Information Officer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
313 N Figueroa St, Suite 806
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 989-7183 (direct)
(213) 240-8144 (media)
(213) 481-1406 (fax)

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