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Hampden County Again At The Bottom Of Health Rankings

Hampden County finished at the bottom in a public health ranking, again this year.

The report, which is published by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, ranks Hampden County 14th out of 14 Massachusetts counties in health factors -- like smoking and obesity -- and outcomes -- like premature death. 

But Kate Konkle, a researcher on the project, said she sees an encouraging sign in Hampden County's numbers.

"While they still are last in Massachusetts, when we look at their trend graphs -- so how things have been going over the last 15 years -- for length of life measure, we see that people are living longer," she said. "The premature death rate is coming down."

Other Western Massachusetts counties fared a bit better, with Hampshire County doing the best. It finished 3rd in the state in heath factors and 5th for health outcomes. 

Carrie Healy hosts the local broadcast of "Morning Edition" at NEPM. She also hosts the station’s weekly government and politics segment “Beacon Hill In 5” for broadcast radio and podcast syndication.