Worcester County placed a lackluster ninth place in a list of the healthiest counties in Massachusetts, as determined by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In its recent "County Health Rankings and Roadmaps" study, the foundation looked at a variety of measures that affect health, including the rate of people dying before age 75, high school graduation rates, unemployment, limited access to healthy foods, air and water quality, income, and rates of smoking, obesity and teen births.
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Nearby Middlesex County placed second in the list, trailing only Dukes County. Below Worcester County (of which Shrewsbury is part) were Plymouth, Berkshire, Bristol, Suffolk and Hampden Counties.
Worcester County ranked poorly in "health behaviors," with researchers finding higher levels of adult smoking, obesity, excessive drinking and sexually transmitted diseases than the national benchmark. (Only 10 percent of counties across the nation were better than the national benchmark.)
The county fared better, though, in the clinical care category, meeting the state average uninsured rate of 5 percent: and landing far below the national benchmark of 11 percent uninsured.