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VENTURA COUNTY RESIDENTS IN GOOD HEALTH : DEATH RATE PER 100,000 FELL IN 3-YEAR PERIOD, STUDY SHOWS.

Byline: Michael Coit Daily News Staff Writer

Ventura County residents are healthier and living longer.

A state Department of Health Services study reports that the county ranked higher than the statewide average on 17 of 18 indicators gauging birth and death rates and incidences of communicable diseases during 1992 through 1994.

The county also had fewer births to teen-age mothers, and fewer babies suffered from late prenatal care compared with statewide averages, the recently released study showed.

``These are the areas where you try to make a difference in the health of your community,'' said Dr. Elizabeth Trebow, health statistics manager for Ventura County Public Health. ``The whole idea behind these health status indicators is prevention, and almost all of these things can be prevented with education and nutrition and exercise.''

Trebow said the county's ranking in the state study has improved. She noted that the overall death rate per 100,000 residents dropped from 408 in the period from 1990-92 to 390 during the period from 1992-94.

Public health officials, however, said they must continually tailor prevention and treatment programs for problem areas. Two areas drawing increased attention are the Latino infant mortality rate and the incidence of tuberculosis.

More than a half-dozen public health programs have been launched in recent years to improve prenatal programs for Latino mothers and help reduce the infant mortality rate within that ethnic group. While the county reported an overall infant mortality rate of 6.8 per 100,000 residents, the Latino infant mortality rate was 7.2 during the three-year period.

``Mortality increases with low birth weight and if we can get these women to get these services, a lot of them can have more successful pregnancies,'' said Cheryl Clement, director of the county's Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program.

Beginning in 1993, public health officials boosted efforts to identify residents with tuberculosis and expand treatment programs.

``We new they were out there, but we didn't have the staff and funding to find them,'' Trebow said.

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Chart: HEALTH STATUS
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Article Details
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Apr 1, 1996
Words:337
Previous Article:CLINICS OFFER PRENATAL PROGRAM TO REDUCE LATINO INFANT DEATHS.
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