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Report shows health conditions result in more area hospitalizations


Written by By LORA HINES | The Press-Enterprise   
Sunday, 10 February 2013 00:00

A recent report that compares hospitalizations throughout that state confirms what many local health care providers and experts have said for years -- the Inland area ranks poorly in almost all measurable medical categories.

The study shows that higher-than-average numbers of residents in San Bernardino and Riverside counties were hospitalized for manageable conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic lung disease, compared to those in other counties. It was prepared by the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, a state agency that analyzes health care data.

Poverty, lack of health insurance and access to care could be some of the reasons for the Inland area's poor results, health providers said.

The report examined hospital discharge records between 1999 and 2008 for 15 conditions. It did not gauge hospital quality. It identified conditions for which patients could have avoided hospitalization if they had gotten better preventive care.

The data didn't take into account poverty, the number of uninsured or ethnicity.

Poverty, bad health habits, lack of insurance and limited access to healthy activities and foods all contribute to the Inland area's poor health outcomes, said Dr. Eric Frykman, Riverside County's Community Health Agency director. Public health and community officials have made some improvements by reducing smoking rates and requiring parks and bicycle paths in new developments.

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