Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Supervisors hear good news, bad news on Yoloans’ health

By
From page A1 | July 17, 2014 |

WOODLAND — County supervisors this week heard the good, the bad and the ugly about the state of health among Yolo County residents when they received the county Health Council’s annual report on Tuesday.

Outgoing council chair Dr. Michael Wilkes told supervisors that overall, “things are going very well.”

“We’ve seen some amazing improvement in several things,” Wilkes said, citing a drop in the adult smoking rate, a decline in the teenage birth rate and high rates of breastfeeding and kindergarten immunizations among Yolo County residents.

But there was bad and ugly to report as well, including an increase in the teenage smoking rate, high numbers of suicides and attempted suicides, increased numbers of sexually transmitted diseases and higher rates of obesity among children.

The Health Council, made up of representatives of various local public and private health care providers, serves as an advisory panel to the Board of Supervisors, meeting monthly and collecting data. Wilkes has chaired the council for the past couple of years and now will be succeeded by Davis pediatrician Dr. Rick Baker. He and his colleagues on the council will have their work cut out for them in several areas.

Topping concerns is the high number of suicides and attempted suicides in Yolo County in recent years.

“We have more deaths from suicide than homicide,” Wilkes noted.

Hospital admissions for suicide and self-injury increased by 130 percent between 2008 and 2012, the council reported, and Wilkes noted that figure doesn’t include attempted suicides that did not result in hospitalization.

In all, there were 76 hospitalizations in Yolo County during 2012 for attempted suicide or self-injury, up from 33 in 2008.

The largest increase was seen in adolescents, Wilkes said, followed by those over the age of 65.

Reversing the trend, he said, “requires an educational outreach program … what are the signs and symptoms to look for?”

“The good news is we mostly have (that) through the schools,” Wilkes said, “(but) the elderly we should be connecting with. A lot of it is destigmatizing.”

Another mental health concern is an increase in hospitalization rates for mood disorders among women of child-bearing age.

According to the council’s report, the county’s rate of 1,119 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents is significantly higher than the state rate of 1,031, but the reason why remains unclear. The council has recommended that the county Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health focus where possible on reducing hospitalizations through the use of crisis personnel who can help stabilize someone in a mental health crisis without resorting to hospitalization.

Teen smoking continues to be an ongoing concern in Yolo County, with the rate having increased from 4.6 percent of teens smoking in 2003 to 15.1 percent in 2012, and increases in the sexually transmitted disease rates are also a concern.

For the latter, the Health Council has recommended that the county hire an outreach specialist for sex education and that the board consider a resolution calling on health care providers to routinely test both males and females for sexually transmitted diseases.

Noting the sharp increases in both the gonorrhea and chlamydia rates, Wilkes said, “Both are treatable … but both can go on and wreak havoc. The message here is these are preventable and we can really do something important to help people prevent these diseases.”

Yolo County is also experiencing an ongoing pertussis epidemic that Wilkes said may be the result of two things: a cyclical pattern of pertussis emerging every three to five years, as well as new evidence that the vaccine “is not as effective as we once thought.”

As far as immunizations in general, while the county immunization rate exceeds the state rate, there are, Wilkes said, “isolated islands of very low immunization rates and we have to figure out how to better educate moms and dads who send their kids to those particular schools.”

Finally, obesity continues to be a concern in Yolo County, with approximately 25 percent of adults and even more youths diagnosed as obese.

According to the council’s report, the percentage of students in grades 5, 7 and 9 who are overweight or obese continues to increase.

Looking at seventh-graders throughout the county, the council reported 30 percent were obese and another 14 percent overweight, but that varied from school district to school district.

In Davis, for example, 71 percent of students were at a healthy weight, followed by Winters with 67 percent.

But in Woodland and West Sacramento, only 48 percent of seventh-graders were at a healthy weight and in Esparto just 46 percent.

“In addition to other factors,” the report said, “obesity appears to correlate with low physical activity levels among school children.”

And the bad news about that: The percentage of children doing physical activity outside of school in 2012 was lower than in 2007, the council reported.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at aternus@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy

Comments

comments

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
     
    Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

    Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

    Record drought saps California honey production

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    World travelers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Weightlifters causing a racket

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    No support for militarization

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    A better use for this vehicle

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Police are our friends, right?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Wage plan has a big flaw

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

     
    Light-hitting Cats fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Giants win nightcap in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

     
    Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Yolo Mambo to play free show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6