BULLHEAD CITY — Every five years, the Arizona Department of Health Services releases its State Health Assessment. With an increased focus on health equity and the social determinants of health, ADHS has made this year’s SHA available.
ADHS said that utilizing a variety of data sources, the assessment highlights both successes and challenges in the state’s health behaviors and outcomes. In addition to noting trends and national comparisons, the SHA also identifies key social, economic and environmental factors that contribute to the health of Arizonans.
The 2019 SHA covers everything from maternal and infant health to healthy aging and capacity to address health issues. To read the full report, go to azhealth.gov/SHA and click on the “new SHA” hyperlink.
The SHA stated that life expectancy is a measure commonly used to address the overall health of a population; it clearly exhibits that where Arizona residents live matters. For Mohave County, the life expectancy is 75.7 years. Apache County has the lowest at 74.3 and Yuma County has the highest at 80.7 years.
According to the SHA, Arizona has experienced a 20% decrease in its birth rate over the past 10 years.
The SHA said that in Mohave County there were 1,734 births in 2017; Greenlee County had 156, Pima County had 10,970 and Maricopa had 52,470 births.
Between 2014 and 2017, eight in 10 pregnant women in Arizona received intermediate or adequate prenatal care, the assessment said. In Mohave County, 74.4% received intermediate or adequate parental care.
The SHA said that in 2017, unintentional injury was the leading cause of deaths among children and adolescents. Tooth decay is the No. 1 chronic disease in Arizona, with more than 6 out of 10 children affected.
In adults, the SHA said that cancer mortality in Arizona is below the national average and decreasing, ranking sixth-best among states. However, Arizona experiences a higher rate of suicide mortality than the country as a whole.
The ADHS vital statistics and death reports indicate 949 Arizonans died due to opioid use in 2017. This figure includes both intentional and unintentional deaths; however, the majority are due to unintentional overdoses. Heroin deaths represent about one-third of total opioid deaths.
The SHA said that in 2017, heart disease was the leading cause of death among Arizonans age 65 and older. Alzheimer’s mortality rates in Arizona remain above the national rate, sightly increasing to 35.2 per 100,000 over the past five years.
The SHA said that the Mohave County Health Assessment Survey is currently being prepared, using classic media, social media and hard/paper copies to reach citizens. Six focus groups were conducted in communities and the department is in the process of identifying key information that is representative of the different communities.