The state of health in Northwest Indiana is on the decline, with unemployment, poverty and lack of insurance among the barriers preventing many residents from getting health care and health education, according to a report released today.
The 2012 Quality of Life Indicators Report commends the investment in health care facilities and equipment in the region but shows there are pockets of residents who do not have access to ongoing care.
One of the biggest obstacles in improving health care in the region is a lack of statistics and information.
"There remains a severe lack of consistent, accessible data on health and health care in Northwest Indiana at a scale that is geographically and socially specific enough to be useful," the report states.
Information from the County Rankings and Roadmaps program shows Northwest Indiana tended to be less healthy than the rest of the state between 2010 and 2012, with Lake and LaPorte counties among the least healthy.
In the region, 17 percent of adults were excessive drinkers, with the highest proportion at 20 percent in LaPorte County during 2012.
Low-income people have a harder time accessing good food from nearby grocery stores, and fast food eateries make up half of all restaurants in the region.
The report includes statistics on the uninsured, poverty rates and infant mortality rates, among other figures.