Hendricks County Health Department Releases Two Reports on Top Health Problems

HENDRICKS COUNTY, IN – Following the release of the widely-utilized 2018 Community Health Assessment report released last year, public health officials with the Hendricks County Health Department (HCHD) have prepared two reports that dive deeper into two of the most concerning health problems in Hendricks County: obesity and opioid misuse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the most common health behaviors associated with overweight and obesity are physical inactivity and poor nutrition choices. Additionally, there are factors that contribute to obesity rates that are outside the control of individuals, such as how far a person lives from a grocery store, and a person’s family history.

“According to last year’s health assessment, more than one third of adults who live in Hendricks County are overweight or obese,” states Chase Cotten, Public Health Education Specialist at HCHD. “It is no secret at this point in our understanding of population health science that obesity can lead to numerous negative health outcomes including higher rates of heart disease and diabetes, higher cancer incidence, and even higher rates of depression” (CDC).

To learn more about the obesity problem in Hendricks County, view the new interactive data report at: http://bit.do/HC-2019-Obesity-Report.

“Another serious health problem affecting Hendricks County residents is opioid misuse,” Cotten reports. “More than half of the people who tragically died by drug overdose in 2019 in Hendricks County were misusing an opioid.”

Opioids in the form of prescription pain pills are the most commonly misused; however, the chemical makeup of these pills is nearly identical to its illicit forms: heroin and fentanyl. According to Overdose Lifeline, 4 out of 5 (or 80%) of new heroin users started out by misusing prescription opioid pills.

To learn more about the opioid misuse problem in Hendricks County, view the new interactive data report at: http://bit.do/HC-2019-Opioid-Report.

“Our hope is that these two data reports will be useful in multiple types of conversations: between family members or friends, between providers and patients, and between lawmakers and constituents,” Cotten says. “It’s important to remember that these numbers are not just numbers, they represent our loved ones.”

For more information on these important issues, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes.html, https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html, and http://overdoselifeline.org/.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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