At PEAK Integrative Health, we take Schuylkill County’s health seriously. We care about residents in our local town of Orwigsburg as well as all the residents of Schuylkill County. We started PEAK to treat people and care for our region’s health so our neighbors can live full, healthy lives.
We want to see each person in Pine Grove, Pottsville, Shenandoah, or Tamaqua live a healthy life rather than having their symptoms masked. Our focus is determining the root cause of your health issues. The Schuylkill region has a lot of root causes resulting in our county being one of the most unhealthy counties in PA. According to 2023 health data, Schuylkill County is ranked 62nd out of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania. The result of ranking almost last in Pennsylvania for health is a heightened premature death rate.
We want to see that change. We want to improve the overall health of the coal region. We want Schuylkill County residents to live full lives and not face premature death.
How Schuylkill County’s Health Compares To Pennsylvania
Overall, Schuylkill County underperforms in a variety of health areas, according to countyhealthrankings.org. Due to those areas of underperformance, we have an earlier death rate in comparison to a large amount of the state and the country.
Before the age of 75, an average of 10,100 years of life was lost in Schuylkill County vs. 7,600 in Pennsylvania and 7,300 in the United States. Essentially out of 100,000 people, 10,100 years of life are lost in Schuylkill County before the age of 75. This means people who live in our area on average die at a younger age than people in different regions of Pennsylvania and the country.
Factors That Contribute To Schuylkill County’s Health Rating
1. Obesity In Schuylkill County
Schuylkill County has a high obesity rate. 36% of the region has a BMI of 30 or greater. Excessive weight and obesity contribute to cardiovascular health issues. Obesity can also be linked to hormonal or metabolism health problems. When suffering from obesity, it puts a strain on your whole body.
2. Smoking In Schuylkill County
22% of adults in Schuylkill County smoke cigarettes. In comparison, 17% of people in Pennsylvania smoke, and 16% in the United States. Smoking is a major contributor to the early death rate within Schuylkill County. Smoking can cause or contribute to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, lung diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Many of these are the cause of premature death in the coal region of Pennsylvania.
3. Schuylkill County’s Physical Inactivity
Being physically active leads to a healthier lifestyle. Exercise can help lower your BMI and has a variety of physical benefits as well as mental benefits. 27% of Schuylkill County residents report not performing physical activity outside of work. Pennsylvania, in comparison, said 23% of residents do not perform exercise outside. The counties that performed more activity outside saw better health data.
4. Number Of Primary Care Physicians In Schuylkill County
A major factor that determines the health of a county is the number of primary care providers within a region. Only so many people can be treated, coached, and provided with health advice because there are only so many healthcare providers. In Schuylkill County, there is 1 primary care physician for every 1,880 people in Schuylkill County.
This means a lot of people are not having regular checkups, mammogram screenings, or their overall health monitored. Many chronic diseases or causes of death can be prevented if they are caught in the early stages and treated. In Schuylkill County, we need to become proactive with our health and lifestyles in order to lower the risk of premature death.
Leading Causes Of Death In Schuylkill County
Below are the leading causes of death in Schuylkill County. Many of the health statistics above are directly connected to the diseases below. What is more important is that many of these causes of premature death are preventable with adjustments to your lifestyle. Learn from PEAK how to lengthen your life and improve your health.
1. Cancer Is A Leading Cause Of Death In Schuylkill County
Listed as malignant neoplasms, cancerous tumors are a key factor leading to a number of deaths in Schuylkill County. While not all cancer is preventable, some cancer can be caused by smoking or alcohol consumption and diet.
2. Heart Diseases (Cardiometabolic Health Related Issues)
A major problem in Schuylkill County is cardiometabolic health, or also known as heart disease and diabetes. Both smoking and obesity contribute to this cause of premature death in our local residents. By being proactive with your health and focusing on the root cause of your high blood pressure or blood sugar levels, you can overcome cardiometabolic health problems.
3. Accidents Contribute To Early Deaths In Schuylkill
Many residents of Schuylkill County are commuters who drive further for work. This increases the likelihood of being in a car accident as well as lower quality of life. Driving can also be stressful and contributes to time when your body is stressed yet physically inactive.
4. Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
Chronic lower respiratory diseases can be characterized as bronchitis, pneumonia, and bronchiolitis. This can be a product of years of smoking. Or it can be aspergillosis which is caused by mold in your home or workplace. People have come into PEAK with symptoms caused by mold, while the rest of their family does not display any symptoms. Left untreated many mold-related health problems can result in chronic symptoms. Whether the chronic lower respiratory disease was caused by mold or cigarettes, premature death is preventable.
5. Suicide & Self Harm
A number of residents in Schuylkill County suffer from stress, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. This is a mental health-related issue that needs to be improved. We want to see our neighbors in Schuylkill County healthy both physically and mentally. If you are considering suicide call or text 988 to start a conversation.
Contact PEAK Integrative Medicine To Improve Your Health
At PEAK, we are focused on determining the root cause of your symptoms. We do not want to mask your symptoms, rather, we want to treat you so you can live a healthy life. When you come to our direct primary care office, we provide treatment for chronic health issues as well as a variety of services. We have chiropractic services, general family medicine services, and even IV nutrient therapy. Contact PEAK for a discovery call to talk about how we can help you to live a long and healthy life in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.