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Stolp Skeptical About Study

Sonora, CA — Tuolumne County Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp is somewhat skeptical about the results of a recent study finding the county to be the 29th healthiest in the state.

The study conducted by the University of Wisconsin, and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looks at how long residents live and how healthy they are during their lives.

He notes that Tuolumne County has a high number of fatal vehicle accidents and suicides, which often affects younger residents in the community.

“When you have a higher death rate for those two conditions, it causes your data to skew itself in the direction of loss of potential years of life,” says Stolp. “More young people tend to die in suicides and accidents than the elderly.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Stolp says the statistics may shine too favorably a light at times.

“Because complicated pregnancies are often shipped out of Tuolumne County for delivery, this makes our newborn statistics look more favorable than in fact are the actual outcomes for Tuolumne County residents,” he adds.

Neighboring Calaveras County ranked 22nd overall in the health study.

Detailed findings from the study can be found at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.