Each year, thepublishes a national ranking of various indicators of general public health. The County Health Rankings help community leaders identify challenges and take action in a variety of ways to improve residents’ health. Across the nation, some factors that influence health, such as smoking, availability of primary care physicians, and social support, show highs and lows across all regions. Meanwhile other factors reflect some distinct regional patterns, such as: excessive drinking rates are highest in the northern states, rates of teen births, sexually-transmitted infections, and children in poverty are highest across the southern states, unemployment rates are lowest in the northeastern, Midwest, and central plains states, motor vehicle crash deaths are lowest in the northeastern and upper Midwest states.
In Texoma, smoking rates are generally higher than in other rural areas of Texas and the United State. This can have long-term negative side effects for employers and the local healthcare system with more sick days and more visits to the doctor and need for medical care throughout the course of a lifetime.