How healthy we are and how long we live is not just the result of our genes and our biology, but also a direct result of the health choices we make, the place where we live, the health care we receive, and policies and laws that affect our opportunities and choices. Among the social factors that contribute to health, the most important predictors are education and income. Explore these pages to see the connection between these factors and the health of the people in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2016
People often assume that genetics and healthcare are the most important factors in health. Other factors can have a significant impact too, such as socioeconomic status, health behavior, and environment. Roll over the bars on this chart to see how each category affects overall health. Learn more about each category in the sections below.
Source: Tarlov, A.R., Public Policy Frameworks for Improving Population Health. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1999.
These indicators show at a glance how we are doing as a community in regards to health. In general, residents of Cleveland have poorer health outcomes than residents of greater Cuyahoga County. For some indicators, Cleveland does worse than the national average by 20% or more. Explore the sections below to see underlying reasons for the poor health of people in our community. View sources for this section.
Since many chronic illnesses (such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension) can be prevented, a number of community efforts are underway to make Cuyahoga County and Cleveland a healthier place. Take a look at Health Action pages to see some of these initiatives. Visit Check Your Health Risk to see if there are ways you can reduce your own risk for these conditions.
Individual behaviors contribute a great deal to how long we live and how healthy we are. While it is easy to talk about making positive changes in health behaviors, there are things we can do together to make it easier for people to develop and maintain healthy habits. View sources for this section.
One of the most important goals of public health is to make the healthy decision the easy—or default—decision. If your neighborhood has no grocery stores selling fresh produce, the default decision may become eating unhealthy foods. Poorer communities often lack access to fresh food, and face other environmental factors that make being healthy much more difficult to achieve. Explore some of the environmental factors affecting healthy choices below, and see what people are already doing to make our community healthier by visiting the Health Action page.
Cuyahoga County and Cleveland are shaped by both urbanization and urban sprawl. Both create conditions that influence our health. Heavily urban areas concentrate assets and solutions, but also feature overcrowding, high volume traffic, poor air quality, and lack of safe public spaces. As a result, urban areas tend to have more chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer; more violence and injuries; and more infectious diseases. On the other hand, urban sprawl results in an over-reliance on automobiles, increasing pedestrian death and injury, motor vehicle accidents, high blood pressure, heat waves, and air pollution. Many initiatives are already underway to shape these urban and suburban communities and make them healthier and more sustainable. View sources for this section.
Poverty line in 2014 was $23,850 for a family of 4. 100%-200% PL: $23,850-$47,700. 400% PL: $95,400
Cuyahoga and Cleveland are at high risk for poor health due to elevated levels of poverty. Many families are vulnerable. Poorer nutrition and living conditions, for instance older housing and polluted air, cause many health conditions, including asthma.
Cleveland has excellent healthcare systems, yet many people die or are disabled from conditions that could have been prevented or treated. There are several important measures of a strong healthcare system, including: access to primary care, management of chronic disease, access to preventive care (such as immunization), and preventive tests. Current healthcare reform is increasing access to primary and preventive care. By changing the way we pay for health care, we hope to achieve the “Triple Aim”—better care, better health outcomes and lower cost. View sources for this section.
* Early diagnosis dramatically improves chance of survival.Healthcare Access by Race