Community Health Assessment
Health Outcomes represent how healthy a county is right now, reflecting the physical and mental wellness of residents within in a community through measures representing both the length and quality of life (1). The County Health Rankings measures life expectancy, premature death, birth risk factors, and ratings of physical and mental health as key factors that influence a community’s health outcomes.
The life expectancy for a child born in Mason County between 2015 and 2019 is 79.7, meaning a person born in Mason County between 2015 and 2019 can be expected to live 79.7 years on average (2). In comparison, the life expectancy for the state of Washington for that same period is 80.4 years (2). Mason County’s life expectancy rate has increased steadily over the last 25 years; between 1994 and 2019, life expectancy increased by 4.3 years (2).
The top 3 leading causes of death for both males and females in Mason County are cancer, heart disease, and unintentional injury; the cancer type that results in the most deaths in Mason County is lung cancer (2). Mason County has higher mortality rates due to cancer, cardiovascular disease, unintentional injury, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), suicide, and chronic liver disease (2). Local mortality rates associated with Alzheimer’s, stroke, and diabetes are lower compared to the state’s rates (2).
Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) measures the rate and distribution of premature death, or deaths that could have been prevented (1). While statistics that include all mortality are dominated by deaths of the elderly, YPLL emphasizes deaths of younger people (1). The YPLL in Mason County has remained largely consistent over time; however, between 2015 and 2017, YPLL has begun to decline. While Mason County’s YPLL remains higher than the state’s, rates of premature death have declined over time and continue to remain lower than neighboring Grays Harbor County.
Morbidity measures the burden of disease on a population and can reveal how healthy a community is as well as indicators for future health (1). Many of the leading causes of death and chronic health conditions are caused or exacerbated by unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Diet and exercise influence one’s risk for various chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease. Many of these behaviors are established in childhood (1).
Heart disease was the leading cause of hospitalizations in Mason County between 2016 and 2019 (3)
(1) County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. www.countyhealthrankings.org
(2) Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, Death Certificate Data, 1990-2019, Community Health Assessment Tool (CHAT), January 2021.
(3) WA Hospital Discharge Data, Comprehensive Hospitalization Abstract Reporting System (CHARS) 1987-2019. Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, Community Health Assessment Tool (CHAT), Aug 2021.
(4) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2012-2019. Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, Community Health Assessment Tool (CHAT), December 2020.
(5) Washington State Department of Health. (2019). Healthy Youth Survey. https://www.askhys.net/