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Central Valley Falling Behind In Health

When it comes to health, the central valley is falling behind according to a new report.
When it comes to health the central valley is falling behind. That's according to a new report which highlights issues throughout the state from life expectancy to poverty rates. CBS47's Angela Greenwood has more on how the valley scored.
Every county in the San Joaquin valley ranked in the bottom ten of the list. Local health officials say they aren't surprised. A new study suggests the central valley is the unhealthiest region in the state. The report released by Robert Wood Johnson foundation looked at the overall health inside 57 of California's 58 counties. Fresno came in at number 54. Tulare came in last.

"I think that we should really look at that as we look at funding and resources at how we can get more information to the valley to serve the population." Says Rosemary Garrone, Fresno Co. Health Dept.

The report highlights specific factors that influence health, like sexually transmitted diseases. Fresno County has some of the highest rates in that area.

Fresno's adult obesity rate is five percent more than the state average and its life expectancy significantly lower. Low birth weight is also a big problem. Women in poverty have higher risk of that, late access to prenatal care.

It's not just medical issues. Fresno County is a leader in fatal car accidents. So far this year, 39 people have been killed. Most of the deaths are caused by drinking and driving and not buckling up. Our DUI related collisions in Fresno County are up right now compared to last year alone.

Officials say they are working to get the valley higher up on this list and say it will take not only more education and prevention programs but personal responsibility as well.

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