According to a new website, produced by the CDC Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Baltimore scores better in 11 of 28 measures of health than the national average.
Health data collected from 500 U.S. cities is compared to provide policymakers with more information to help develop strategies. According to the CDC health data, Baltimore has problems with obesity, substance abuse and asthma. But, the overall comparison shows the health of the city doesn’t look too bad.
Baltimore has below-average rates of obesity, binge drinking, high cholesterol, cancer and heart disease. The city has above-average rates of residents getting routine mammograms, checkups, paper smears, flu shots and colonoscopies, along with people managing high blood pressure.
The 24/7 Wall Street LLC, an analytics and news company, recently rated Mobile, Alabama as the nation’s least healthy cities. Baltimore performs Mobile in 24 of 28 categories, with Mobile having lower rates of asthma and smoking, but does better in managing blood pressure. Men living in Mobile take more preventive steps than men living in Baltimore.
Baltimore rates better than Rochester, Minnesota, home of the popular Mayo Clinic, in only three categories, cancer, routine doctor visits and binge drinking. Comparing Baltimore to Rochester and the nation, the city looks in in the cancer category, which shows all forms of cancer except for skin cancer.
“Having the ability to report and map health data at city and neighborhood levels is a game changer for public health,” said Dr. Wayne H. Giles, director of the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. “Local level data available through the 500 Cities website provide health information to better inform and target strategies that are proven to work in improving health.”