Northern Cal gets a clean bill of health 

It’s been tough to overcome the economic malaise, but Northern California remains about as healthy as it gets in the West.

According to new county health rankings released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, five Bay Area counties ranked in the top 10 of 56 measured in California – Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma. San Francisco ranked 24th, just edging out Los Angeles – never considered the healthiest place to live.

“This report shows us that there are big differences in overall health access across California’s counties, due to many factors, ranging from individual behavior to quality of healthcare,’’ said Dr. Patrick Remington, a public health professor at the University of Wisconsin, one of the contributors to the study.

Each county was ranked according to a number of factors, including longevity, access to health care providers and the percentage of smoking, binge drinking and obesity. It also factored in high school graduation rates, violent crime and air pollution levels, among other measures.

The report measured county rankings in all 50 states, just in case you were looking for a much-needed health upgrade and want to do some comparison shopping.

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Ken Garcia

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