Since 2013, SJN has partnered with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) to share instances of exceptional progress and success in public health (known as “positive deviants”) using research and data produced at IHME. This weekly series highlights a timely example of positive deviance and shows you where has seen the most gains. We don’t, however, always know why such successes took place, which is why we look to journalists like you, in hopes that you’ll use these data as inspiration for stories. Run with the data. Report. Research. Find out how these countries are succeeding–and publish what you find with the world.
Perhaps it isn’t surprising that in Wisconsin, home of Miller Brewing and where bars outnumber grocery stores almost 3 to 1, rates of binge and heavy drinking are on the rise. In 2012, Wisconsin also had some of the highest rates of heavy drinking in the country.
Yet this escalation of risky drinking didn’t hold true everywhere in state, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). While between 2005 and 2012, Wisconsin’s rates of binge and heavy drinking increased 4% and 15%, respectively, (and nationwide, rates increased 9% and 17%), Marquette County bucked both state and national trends.
In 2005, Marquette County had higher rates of binge drinking (28%) than the state average (25%).By 2012, the county’s rates of binge drinking dropped 15% and fell below the state average, whereas Wisconsin saw a rise in binge drinking. A similar result emerged for heavy drinking (see table below).
So how did Marquette County do it? While we can’t know for sure, it’s possible that the county’s introduction of a new program in 2003, Healthy Communities Healthy Youth (HCHY), may have played a role. [Read more…]