The Colorado Health Foundation (CHF) published their ninth annual Colorado Health Report Card in 2015 to address the current health, health care and health coverage trends for Colorado citizens, and uses data from previous report cards to track Colorado’s progress. The data from the 2015 report card includes some of the most recently available data, though in some cases this can go as far back as 2008, indicating a need to collect and analyze more up-to-date data.
In 2015, Seniors scored the highest grade according to the CHF’s “38 health-related indicators” with an A-. The health grade decreases as the age group gets younger, with adults scoring a B+, teenagers a B, and babies and children earning Cs. Since Colorado graded Cs in “Healthy Beginnings” (health of babies) and “Healthy Children” (both ranked 24 among other participating states), the 2015 Colorado Health Report Card stresses the importance of getting a healthy head start. Indicators used to determine the grade for Healthy Beginnings include the rates of women receiving initial prenatal care, cigarette smoking while pregnant, babies born with low birth weight, infant mortality, and receiving key vaccinations. The largest drop in rank was for the immunization rate, going from 18th in 2014 to 30th, with only “69.2% of preschool-age children receiv[ing] all recommended doses of six key vaccines.” The indicators for Healthy Children are rates of health insurance coverage, living above the federal poverty level, accessibility to competent medical homes, seeing a dentist in the past year, participation in regular physical activity, and obesity. Among these indicators, the only one to change from last year’s rank was the rate of children living below the poverty line, which decreased from last year to 21.6% and saw a improvement in rank from 19th to 14th.
The following health disparities according to race/ethnicity were discovered: 31.8% of Hispanic women received late or no prenatal care, relative to 15.7% of non-Hispanic women; the percentage of obese Hispanic children ages 10-17 is 15.5% when only 8.7% of non-Hispanic White children are obese; and 37.9% of Hispanic children 12 years or younger live in a family with a household income below the poverty level, which may be relevant to health since lower income is correlated with poor mental health; “adults earning less than $10,000 per year, for example, are three times more likely to report poor mental health than adults with annual incomes of $75,000 or more.” Non-Hispanic Black children have an even higher rate of living below the poverty level at 45.2%, versus 11.3% of non-Hispanic White children.
1All statistics and quotes are from The 2015 Colorado Health Report Card unless otherwise noted. Available at: http://www.coloradohealth.org/yellow.aspx?id=7347. For more detailed data and information, downloadable spreadsheets are available here: http://www.coloradohealth.org/yellow.aspx?id=7347.
The 2015 Colorado Health Report Card. (2015). Denver: The Colorado Health Foundation. http://www.coloradohealth.org/ReportCard/