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Health Risk Factors

Adult chronic health factors are better than the U.S. as a whole

Of the ten leading causes of death in the United States, six are chronic diseases,1 and six in ten Americans live with at least one chronic illness.2 Underlying many chronic health conditions are risk factors such as tobacco use and exposure, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. Engaging in healthy behaviors greatly reduces the risk for illness and death due to chronic diseases.

  • In 2019, 32% of Lancaster County’s residents were obese. Lancaster County’s obesity rate3 has increased 35% since 2005, when 24% of residents were obese. This is a greater increase than the U.S. increase since 2005 (30%).
  • Since 2007, Lancaster County’s obesity rate had been lower than the national rate, but since 2018 it mirrors the national rate.
  • In 2019, 8.2% of Lancaster County’s residents have been diagnosed with diabetes. Lancaster County’s diabetes rate4 has fluctuated and has generally been lower than the national rate.
  • In 2019, 20% of Lancaster County residents reported not participating in any physical activity or exercise in the past month. The physical inactivity5 rate in Lancaster County has been lower than the national rate since 2011.

1.  Sherry, M., Kochanek, K., Jiaquan, X., & Arias, E. (December, 2021). Mortality in the United States, 2020 (NCHS Data Brief no. 427). National Center for Health Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db427.pdf
2.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, April 28). About chronic diseases. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/index.htm
3.  Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index of 30 to 99.8 and is calculated based on responses to questions about height and weight.
4.  Diabetes rates are based in individual report that they have been diagnosed with diabetes.
5.  Physical inactivity is based on persons reporting no leisure-time physical activity in the past 30 days.