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Released by: Health Services
For Immediate Release

Second Edition of Summary Measures of Health Report Now Available

Santa Rosa, CA  –  November 8, 2019  –  The Department of Health Services (DHS) has published the second edition of the Sonoma County Summary Measures of Health report.

First published in January 2018, the Summary Measures of Health describes life expectancy, leading causes of death, death rates, and premature mortality with the goal of identifying disparities to inform policy and drive prevention efforts in the community. The first report analyzed the years 2005 through 2015; the second edition updates this information with data from 2015-2017.

“This updated report includes important community health indicators that not only will provide us with vital health data, but will identify leadership priorities and inform decisions for the next few years,” said Board Chair David Rabbitt.

Key Findings from the 2nd edition of the Summary Measures of Health:

  • Life expectancy (81.6 years) remained stable in Sonoma County, while life expectancy for the United States declined for the third year in a row.
  • Disparities in life expectancy persist by sex, race/ethnicity, and geography with women, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanic/Latinos, and residents of Healdsburg and West County living 4-7 years longer on average.      
  • The top three leading causes of premature death locally were cancer, unintentional injury, and heart disease.
  • Premature death rates increased for drug overdoses (by 55%), suicide (by 32%), and car accidents (rates doubled).  

While the report’s data represent current health outcomes, future health outcomes, just as today’s health outcomes, will largely be determined by the underlying risk and protective factors. The community conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age have a strong influence on health outcomes. Understanding the leading causes of premature death and how they affect our communities, is a first step towards addressing the factors that contribute to poor community health outcomes.

“We envision this report going beyond just the work of DHS, and should be in fact regarded as a resource for the community, and we welcome collaboration in addressing these disparities through our collective efforts,” said Robinson. “Our hope is that together we can partner with our local health care organizations and other agencies with shared populations to tackle these issues holistically.”

Access the full report and an interactive map displaying longevity and leading causes of death by geographic region here: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Public-Reports/Summary-Measures-2015-17/.