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Posted on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 7:39 p.m.

Washtenaw-Wayne county line marks greatest disparity in health outcomes in Michigan

By Amy Biolchini

Though residents in Washtenaw and Wayne counties have access to world-class medical facilities, the disparity in health outcomes across the county line is the greatest in Michigan, according to media reports.

Washtenaw County is ranked fifth in Michigan for its health outcomes like physical and mental health, birth rate and premature death.

071310_NEWS_Bikers on Huron Drive_MRM_01.jpg

Cyclists ride Huron River Drive in Washtenaw County in 2010. The disparity in health outcomes for residents across the Washtenaw-Wayne county border is the greatest in Michigan.

Melanie Maxwell | file photo

Wayne County falls at the bottom of the list of 82 counties ranked for their health outcomes, even though it has five of the state's top-10 ranked hospitals.

On average, Wayne County residents have a higher rate of obesity, are more likely to suffer from diabetes, have mental health issues and have a child die as an infant. The average Wayne County resident dies at a younger age than people living in any other Michigan county.

Policy analysts say the proportion of residents in each county with health insurance is a factor in the health gap between Washtenaw and Wayne counties, Bridge Magazine reported.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


Jay Thomas

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

"The average Wayne County resident dies at a younger age than people living in any other Michigan county." Er... Detroit's homicide rate and other problems will do that.

Superior Twp voter

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

And, it's all our fault. So let's throw money at this so's we can feel better.

Linda Peck

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:49 a.m.

This picture says quite a bit about the health hazards of riding two abreast in Washtenaw County, especially on a curve.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 3:17 a.m.

line up people!


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 2:14 a.m.

Poverty and education, air and water. DTE spews more poison on Wayne than Wshtenaw. DTE gets away with it because its victims are poor. DTE profits up, health of children down.

Lake Trout

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

I suspect it is your first conditions - poverty/education - that make the biggest difference as they are very closely linked to personal health in numerous ways.

Tom Todd

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 10:33 a.m.

it's the American way

David Paris

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:06 a.m.

Amy B., Can you repost this story after the Affordable Health Care Act is 100% implemented, just for comparison?


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 3:35 a.m.

It's fully implemented in 2014 in terms of participation.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:47 a.m.

Isn't that not till 2020 or later ? The insurance art kicks in next year but it still will not be 100% implemented for many years to come


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:51 a.m.

It's a pretty picture, but what does it have to do with the story? Is there any evidence that bike-riding is correlated with having health insurance?


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

I believe there is evidence that exercise is correlated with better health outcomes. Is there anything about the two counties that might make it easier to exercise in one or the other? Like safe streets, biking lanes, parks, and some green space?


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

I'm sure the disparity between Oakland - Wayne is much closer?

Dog Guy

Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

Michigan should fight another war with Ohio. Loser takes Detroit.


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:44 a.m.

We need to try to take over Canada again, the war of 1812 didn't workout so good.

Tom Todd

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:51 p.m.

What is that city east of metro airport that at last count had 731,000 people?


Wed, Apr 24, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

And how many children there have one or more parent locked up in a jail ?