QC Online columnist Marlene Gantt contends that achieving the American dream hinges on having good health and backs up her argument with insights from the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) conducted by Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC).
Nearly two-thirds of a mile wide, the Mississippi River bisects the Quad Cities of Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, Illinois, at the only point where it runs east and west rather than north and south.
Once an industrial hub, with manufacturers such as John Deere, International Harvester, and J.I. Case competing for workers leaving adjacent farmlands for high-paying factory jobs, the QC is now the southern buckle of the Rust Belt. Only Deere remains, along with a legacy of hard-working, hard-living people with an average age-adjusted mortality rate of 191 deaths per 100,000 population, a rate higher than the national average.
Gantt notes that PRC’s 2015 CHNA research found that more than 83 percent of Quad Cities area adults reported one or more cardiovascular risk factors, including being overweight, smoking cigarettes, being physically inactive or having high blood pressure or cholesterol.
She believes that community health in the Quad Cities could make measurable gains if residents would heed the call to action expressed in PRC’s Community Health Needs Assessment. “The risk of Americans developing and dying from cardiovascular disease would be substantially reduced if major improvements were made … in diet and physical activity, control of high blood pressure and cholesterol, smoking cessation and appropriate aspirin use,” the study said.
“People who are not physically active have twice the risk for heart disease of those who are active. More than half of adults do not achieve recommended levels of physical activity,” it reported.
See how Gantt integrates PRC research with data from the Centers for Disease Control to make a compelling argument to improve community health in the Quad Cities.