AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – New health research shows Georgians are doing well compared to the rest of the southeast and in the nation in some areas. There are also areas where improvements can be made.
For the second year in a row, Augusta University has published Healthy Georgia- an extensive report on the state of Georgia’s public health.
Dr. Biplab Datta, assistant professor at Augusta University’s Institute of Public and Preventative Health, tells us that one major finding is that urban populations and younger Georgians aged 18-49 are showing higher rates of cardiovascular diseases.
“Within Georgia, these are the two population groups, I think, where we have to look out more why we are seeing this kind of stuff and how to improve overall health,” said Dr. Datta.
Dr. Datta points out one area in which Georgians are doing relatively well: obesity.
“Our obesity prevalence is not that much bad,” said Dr. Datta. “It’s kind of comparable to the national average.
And, in terms of health insurance…
“Georgia is at the very bottom in terms of adult health insurance coverage,” said Dr. Datta. “So, we are 49th out of 51 states, including D.C.”
For children’s health insurance coverage, Georgia ranks 33rd.
“So we have to think if we want to improve adult health insurance coverage, what are the lessons we can learn from the children’s health insurance coverage in Georgia,” said Dr. Datta. “So, why we are doing slightly better in that area and we can implement that experience in improving the health insurance coverage for adults.”
Dr. Datta says he hopes this research can bridge a gap between health researchers and lawmakers.
“So researchers from this report…they can see there is an area that needs more research to understand why this is happening,” said Dr. Datta. “Then the policy makers- they can also know from this report that this is the area that we need to focus if we want to improve health outcomes in a certain population group.”
Dr. Datta also hopes the Healthy Georgia report will help influence public health policy in the state of Georgia.