Chautauqua County Residents In Worse Health Than State Average

MAYVILLE, N.Y.: – Chautauqua County residents are less healthy than their neighbors across the state, according to a report released this week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Among 62 counties, Chautauqua County is 58th in Health Outcomes and 57th in Health Factors.
“We have known for some time that there is much work to be done to improve health in Chautauqua County, but these data points reinforce the need for community action to improve health behaviors such as tobacco use, nutrition, and physical activity,” said Christine Schuyler, Director of Health and Human Services. “The most recent CDC surveys indicate that Chautauqua County has the highest adult smoking rate and adult obesity rate in New York State. We all play a role in making our community healthier, and it’s time to step up and make changes – individually and at the organization and community levels.”
According to the numbers, the typical county resident is more likely to smoke, be obese, live in poverty in a single-parent family and has a harder time finding a dentist or primary care physician. Residents are also more likely to be insured, graduate high school and be unemployed compared to the state numbers.
In the Health Behaviors subcategory, Chautauqua County ranked as 62 out of 62 counties, largely due to elevated rates of adults who smoke (24%) and adults who are obese (33%), according to CDC surveys. The County’s high teen birth rate of 29 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 (compared to 18 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 in New York State) also factored into the poor rank.
Chautauqua County’s biggest improvement, and best rank, was seen in the Physical Environment subcategoryNumber 13 out of the 62 counties, this ranking was affected most by the absence of any major public water violations.
According to the report, 24 percent of adults smoke (14 percent state-wide), 33 percent are obese (25 percent), and 79 percent of all county residents have access to exercise opportunities compared to 93 percent statewide.
The county has an alcohol impaired driving death rate of 33 percent compared to 22 percent across New York.
Children don’t fare as well in the county as in the rest of the state, according to the report. The state averages 35 percent of all children are raised in a single-parent household while the rate is 38 percent in Chautauqua County. The county has 29 percent of all children living in poverty while the state average is 21 percent.
Finding primary care doctors or dentists is harder in the county, the report indicates. The ratio of patients to primary care providers was 1,740:1, compared to 1,200:1 statewide and the ratio of patients to dentists was 1,750:1, compared to 1,240:1 statewide. Mental health care was also harder to address as the ratio of patients to mental health providers was 710:1, compared to 390:1 statewide.
Teen pregnancy was also higher in Chautauqua County at 29 percent per 100,000 compared to 18 percent across the state.
There were fewer cases of Chlamydia at 377.9 cases per 100,000 population, compared to 524.7 state-wide.
The high school graduation rate is higher in Chautauqua County at 83 percent to 79 percent in the state. Graduating high school doesn’t necessarily lead to a job, however, as the county jobless rate is 5.8 percent compared to 4.8% statewide.
The county’s violent crime rate is lower than the state average at 232 violent crime rate per 100,000 population, compared to 394 state-wide.
The Chautauqua County Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan update for 2016-2018 are available online at:  The online County Health Rankings report is available at