MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The latest health report card is in and two counties in our area, Rockland and Nassau, top the list.
Suffolk, however, is ranked way back.
Drinking fruit juice, Inger Solvey walked to her train station on Monday.
“I think that transportation is really fast,” she said, when asked by CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan what she likes about Nassau County.
“Everybody wants to be healthy now, all vegetables,” another person said.
Diet and exercise and access to public transport are some of the reasons why Nassau is among the healthiest counties in New York state. It has been boosted by low smoking rates, greater wealth, more doctors per person, more exercise, less obesity and greater educational attainment.
“There is a lot of education around here. This is a university hospital,” one woman said.
The annual rankings, which were announced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, are a compilation of data from a variety of sources.
Nassau ranks No. 2 behind Rockland overall. Suffolk County, however, which is right next door, is ranked only 16th.
“It’s obviously concerning but yet not surprising when out of 62 counties the last couple of years we’ve looked at the highest incidence of fatal overdose has been in Suffolk County,” said Steve Chassman of the Long Island Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence.
Nassau ranks near the very top in access to physical and mental healthcare. Suffolk sits in the bottom half. It’s more isolated, and residents have to drive greater distances to doctors.
“The devil is in the details. Premature death among young people affects the statistics,” said Dr. Ram Raju, the vice president of Northwell Health.
Nassau’s life expectancy (82.8 years) is higher than the state’s (81.2) and more than two years longer than Suffolk’s (80.7).
“This is a wake-up call … to take stock of what we are doing and how we can do it better,” Dr. Raju said.
Nassau could jump to No. 1 next year if it can tackle air pollution, which contributes to asthma, and stress over housing.
The study concludes that where you live affects how long and how well you live.