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Health Officials Weigh in on Recent Broome County Health Rankings

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After Broome County fared poorly in state health rankings, county health officials weighed the good and bad of recent health data.

According to a report Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Broome ranked 51 out of 62 counties in New York state for health outcome.

This means residents are dying before 75 at proportionally higher rates. However, Broome residents are improving health behaviors, such as reducing smoking and increasing physical activity, ranking better than 60% of the state.

The county's health director says that socio-economic factors contribute to the overall health of the county.

"You know, socio-economically, one of the indicators that we are doing well in is, our children are graduating high school at a better rate than most of New York State, so our schools are doing what they should do," said Claudia Edwards, Broome County Public Health Director.

Edwards said that increased high school graduation rates improve the socio-economic climate of a county, which leads to healthier behaviors. This could lead to better health outcomes.