Thurston County ranked 12th among the state's 39 counties in a county-by-county health survey released today.
San Juan County has the healthiest residents and Ferry County the least healthy, according to the survey by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Pierce County ranked 25th; King County ranked sixth.
Study results related to mortality. The researchers concluded, for example, that residents of Ferry County are nearly three times as likely to die a premature death compared with those in San Juan County.
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Researchers used these measures to assess the level of overall health: the rate of people dying before age 75, the percentage of people who report being in fair or poor health, the numbers of days people report being in poor physical and poor mental health, and the rate of infants with low birth weight.
Among the many contributing health factors the researchers looked at were rates of smoking and obesity, excessive drinking and teenage births.
They also considered the number of uninsured adults, the availability of primary care providers, education levels, the number of children living in poverty, access to healthful foods and air pollution levels.
The 10 healthiest counties in Washington were San Juan, Kittitas, Whitman, Island, King, Whatcom, Chelan, Douglas, Clark and Franklin.
The 10 counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, were Ferry, Wahkiakum, Okanogan, Asotin, Mason, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor and Yakima.
Complete results are at www.countyhealthrankings.org.