County health rating declines

When it comes to overall health, Catawba County’s citizens rank just outside the top 25 healthiest in North Carolina, according to an annual health ranking released this month.

Catawba County ranked 29th in health outcomes and 30th in health factors out of the state’s 100 counties in an annual “Roadmaps to Health” study released April 3.

The study, completed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Public Health Institute, measures the nation’s counties for health outcomes like premature death and morbidity, as well as health factors such as smoking, obesity, social and economic health, and physical environment.

Catawba County is a less healthy region compared to last year’s statistics, when the county ranked 18th in health outcomes and 27th overall in health factors.

To read more of this story, pick up the Tuesday edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.