Coachella Valley residents among sickest in California

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Binge drinking, lack of dental care, smoking and diabetes are among the main reasons that people in Riverside County’s Coachella Valley are more than twice as likely to be in fair or poor health as compared to other Californians, according to an analysis of national research conducted by the Health Assessment Resource Center in Palm Desert.

The center found that 17.4 percent of Coachella Valley residents are considered in fair or poor health. Statewide, 8.1 percent of Californians fall within that category.

The Resource Center, a nonprofit consortium of 35 Riverside County health agencies, conducted the analysis as part of a community health report it issues every three years. The study includes information gathered by its member agencies as well as data from the Centers for Disease Control and the United Health Care Foundation, a Minnesota-based nonprofit that ranks health trends nationwide.