Health officials say that Iowa has become a healthier state in many ways.
The Iowa Department of Public Health released a progress report on the state’s health improvements. IDPH Interim Director Gerd Clabaugh said the state is making progress on its health improvement plan. The report was made as part of National Public Health Week 2014.
Here are some of the improvements:
- Crash fatalities in 2013 reached a record low of 318 for the state. The average from 2009-2012 was 371.
- There were fewer meth labs seized, which Clabaugh says is a reflection of the drug’s availability. In 2013 there were 290 labs seized. That is nearly 100 fewer than in 2010.
- The obesity rate in women, children ages 2-5, and infants has dropped from 22 percent in 2010 in 19 percent in 2013. The Center for Disease Control said Iowa is one of 19 states where the obesity rate for children has declined.
- Preterm birthrates of African-Americans have dropped from slightly from 17 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2012. IDPH suggested that this could mean that the infant mortality rate is dropping among Iowans.
Clabaugh said the ability to continue these health improvements within the state will depend on not just a single public health agency, but the collaboration of all public health.