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California is reporting statewide improvements in key public health measures, including rates for many chronic diseases, sexually-transmitted infections, motor vehicle crashes and accidental deaths, according to the County Health Status Profiles 2013 report released today.
Overall, the 20th annual report shows a statewide drop in the rate of most illnesses, including all cancers, heart disease, stroke and diabetes from 2009-2011, compared with 2006-2008. Also down were deaths from homicides, motor vehicle crashes and those from unintentional causes – including drug overdoses. The number of AIDS and gonorrhea cases also fell.
At the same time, however, California recorded an increase in deaths from Alzheimer’s disease, and a slight uptick in the number of deaths from suicide and chronic liver disease. Incidents of the sexually-transmitted infection, Chlamydia, also climbed statewide.
This year’s nearly 100-page report was the first to compare state public health markers to national public health goals set by the federal government in its three-year-old Healthy People 2020 campaign.
While California met and exceeded many of the national goals - including those for reducing deaths from cancer, homicide and motor vehicle crashes - it fell below them in several other areas. Among them: the number of deaths caused by female breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and stroke.