The latest Kansas County Health Rankings have been released and Johnson and Riley counties have the healthiest residents in Kansas again this year.
Wyandotte County and a cluster of counties in southeast Kansas remain among the least healthy.
Sedgwick County came in at 72 out of 102 counties ranked.
Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino is a senior fellow at the non-profit Kansas Health Institute. He says the rankings demonstrate that health depends as much on factors like poverty, education and inequality as on access to doctors.
“Of course when you need a doctor you need to be able to find one, but that in and of itself is not sufficient, as demonstrated by Wyandotte County, where you have one of the top-notch hospitals not just in the state, but in the country, and yet some of the health outcomes are so poor," says Pezzino.
Pezzino says the key to a healthier state lies in narrowing the gap between the state’s most and least affluent populations. He says when policymakers make decisions on things like economic development, employment and education, they're making decisions that will ultimately affect the health of communities.
Download the full 2013 Kansas County Health Rankings report.
Want more information? Check out this interactive map to compare counties and other states.