Online database shows health disparities in Delta states


LITTLE ROCK — A new interactive online database shows significant health disparities between the states in the Delta region and the rest of the nation.

The Delta Regional Authority announced Tuesday the launch of the Healthy Delta Research Database, which allows users to view county-by-county health data for the Delta and compare it with state and national data.

Among the statistics available in the database:

• The percentage of Arkansans under age 65 without health insurance is 19.8, compared to 16.6 for the nation.

• The number of physicians per 100,000 population in Arkansas is 242, compared to 336 for the nation.

• The average male life expectancy in Arkansas is 73 years, compared to 76 years for the nation.

• The average female life expectancy in Arkansas is 79 years, compared to 81 for the nation.

• Arkansas’ adult population has a 26.9 percent obesity rate, compared to the national rate of 25. 1 percent.

DRA officials said they hope the database will aid local organizations and government bodies as they try to understand the health care needs of their communities, work to address those needs and track their progress over time.

“In order to treat a problem, you must be able to track that problem — and this tool enables us to do just that,” DRA Chairman Chris Masingill said. “Community leaders and health professionals will now have more comprehensive tools to identify the challenges our people face and work to find solutions for a healthier Delta region.”

The data is compiled from a variety of sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Census.

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On the Net:

http://www.dra.gov/healthy-delta/hd-research-database/data-reports.aspx