Study: Chronic disease mortality rate in Victoria much higher than state and nation

FitVic Coalition taking steps to bring back healthy living initiatives to Victoria County

VICTORIA COUNTY, Texas – Many people amid pandemic put off visiting medical facilities due to fears of getting COVID-19.

Health experts suggested that individuals should put their health first and not let the pandemic put a halt to regular doctor visits or health screenings.

A study provided by the Victoria County Public Health Department showed that chronic disease mortality rate in Victoria County is much higher than the State of Texas and the nation.

“Yes, chronic disease mortality rate in Victoria County is much higher than the state and the nation,” confirmed David Gonzales with the Victoria County Public Health Department.

Adult Obesity Chart in Victoria County

Credit: Victoria County Pubic Health Department

Based on data in 2014, conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Victoria County had a chronic disease mortality rate at 83.1 per 100,000 population for men. This rate is opposed to a national average of 63.8.

Ashley Cano, a public health community advocate with FitVic Coalition shared with 25 News Now the steps the coalition has taken already to bring healthy living to the community.

“So FitVic did a couple of things, they work with local businesses to include bike racks [healthy living],” said Cano. “There are a couple of bike racks already out in the health department … FitVic did that … it just set some goals to schools and the workplace to incorporate healthy living.”

Cano added that there’s been a recent uptick of heart disease, obesity and diabetes in Victoria County.

FitVic Coalition was brought to the forefront in 2016. Cano shared the coalition fizzled out for a bit, but they are now taking steps to bring back healthy living initiatives in Victoria County once again.

Since FitVic was established, the coalition developed an Active Living Plan which consists of eight sectors.

Cano confirmed the plan is to add two more sectors — military and nonprofit.

The Active Living Plan is a subcommittee of FitVic.

The focus of the plan is to improve overall quality of life in Victoria County by increasing access to affordable healthy foods and encourage physical activity.

The eight current sectors are:

Business and Industry
Health Care
Mass Media
Parks, Recreation, Fitness, and Sports
Public Health
Transportation, Land Use, and Community Design
Faith-Based Settings

Cano hopes to gather more leaders in different industries to create a healthy living campaign in Victoria County.

“Last year, when I came on board, we targeted the underserved communities by doing yoga… mediation .. we started with the lower socio-economic areas,” said Cano. “Really just targeting the South side.”

She also shared that the coalition is taking it slow right now. They are currently gathering with local community members to revise the Active Living Plan again.

“We want to make sure that what we had in the past is still relevant,” shared Cano.

If anyone would like to be part of the healthy living campaign, click here.