Gwinnett ranks high in statewide health study

Metro Atlanta is relatively healthy, and Gwinnett ranks among the healthiest counties in the state.

Those findings come from an Atlanta Regional Commission analysis of recently released county health rankings from the Georgia Department of Public Health. The ARC grouped the metro region as 20 counties to compare how they relate to the rest of the state in terms of how socioeconomics and income play a critical role in health outcomes.

Gwinnett ranks fourth in a measure of health outcomes, and eighth in a measure of health factors. Health outcomes are how long people live, and how healthy people feel while alive. Health factors are health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic and physical environment factors.

Gwinnett has the lowest rate of causes of deaths related to a combined measure of cancer, car crashes or homicides, respiratory and cardiovascular factors.

The ARC found that Forsyth County is the healthiest county in the state for health outcomes, while Fayette County is the healthiest in terms of health factors.

The analysis also found that an area east of Suwanee and Sugar Hill, along the Interstate 85 and Interstate 985 split, added 19,860 people between 2000 and 2010, the most of any area in Gwinnett. At 76.7 percent, an area around and north of Peachtree Corners ranks as the area with the highest concentration of people with at least a bachelor's degree. That area also has the highest median household income at $154,483.

Gwinnett was mentioned among counties that rank high among overall health indicators such as lowest premature death rate, years of potential life lost, birth rate to teenage mothers and number of children in poverty.

Forsyth and Fayette were at the top of those indicators, but Gwinnett, Cherokee, Cobb and Paulding also received high marks.