Athens Review, Athens, Texas

August 5, 2013

HC did not fare well in health study

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Henderson County did not fare as well as some of its neighbors in life expectancy, obesity and physical activity, according to a study by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. 

Based at the University of Washington, the institute compiled the data on both men and women in each of the counties in the nation.

The study found that improved nutrition and physical activity played a bigger role in life expectancy than other factors like smoking or diabetes.  The Institute reported that dietary deficiencies were the leading cause of health problems. A recommended diet includes fruits, nuts, vegetables and seeds and is not high in sodium, processed meats or trans fats.

In the study, according to figures compiled in 2010, Henderson County males had a life expectancy of 72 years. Females fared better with an average of 77.8 years.

Obesity was reported in 37.7 percent of Henderson County males and 39.6 percent of females.  The study stated that 51.4 percent of males in the county were getting sufficient physical activity, compared with only 43.5 percent of females.

Smith County rated higher in all factors. Males had a life expectancy of 74.8 years, females 79.6 years. In Smith County 34.8 percent of the males were obese as well as 37.0 percent of the females. Smith County males participated in enough physical activity in 52.3 percent of the cases, among females the percentage was 49.9.

Kaufman County also fared well in the study, with life expectancies of 74.1 years for males and 78.7 years for females. The life expectancy for Navarro County residents was 73.5 years, but rated 78.3 years for females. Ellis County had the best statistics of counties bordering Henderson, with 76.1 years for men and 80 years for women.

Van Zandt County’s numbers were closer to Henderson County with the life expectancy 73 years for males. The female life expectancy was slightly lower than Henderson County at 77.5 years.

Anderson County was below Henderson County in both categories with men scoring 71.7 years for males and 77.5 years for females.