Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index measures wellness at national, local levels

Posted at 3:16 PM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 15:16:59-05

Blue Cross Blue Shield has released a new Health Index, which measures the health of Americans by county, based on data from its 40 million members. 

The index measures the impact of more than 200 common diseases and conditions on overall health by assigning each county in the U.S. a "health metric" between 0 and 1.

For example, a measurement of .9 indicates that on average the population of a county is living at 90 percent of its optimal health. So the county population could gain up to 10 percent in healthy lifespan by addressing the top health concerns in the area.

The index concluded that the national health index is .924. 

The index found that the top health conditions impacting the nation are: Depression/anxiety/mood disorders, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, substance use disorders.

In our five-county area, Indian River County had the highest health index, while Okeechobee County had the lowest.

County Top health issue Health Index
SAINT LUCIE Hypertension 0.896
PALM BEACH Depression / Anxiety / Other Mood Disorders 0.894
OKEECHOBEE Diabetes 0.884
MARTIN Hypertension 0.906
INDIAN RIVER Depression / Anxiety / Other Mood Disorders 0.909

Click here to explore the health index and learn more.