The PRCHN is pleased to release Healthy People 2020: Where Do Cuyahoga County Adolescents Stand?, a mid-decade status report documenting progress made locally toward achieving national health goals established for adolescents. The data for the report comes from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which the PRCHN administers every year in high schools (odd-numbered years) and middle schools (even-numbered years) throughout Cuyahoga County.
Jean Frank, the PRCHN’s Manager of School-Based Surveillance and Evaluation one of the lead authors of the report, states “The 2015 High School YRBS data collection represented the halfway point in this decade and provided a meaningful opportunity to evaluate progress toward the adolescent-focused Healthy People 2020 goals and objectives. The HP2020 report was written to highlight this local surveillance project’s history, the valuable data available, and to assist in prioritizing health issues for adolescents.”
Using risk categories identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the report tracks the progress of Cuyahoga County public high school adolescents from a 2009 baseline to the halfway point in the current decade, assessing their overall health. In addition, this check-in provides direction for the remaining years of the decade and beyond. Each category of risk includes a table containing prevalence estimates with confidence intervals for the Healthy People 2020 goals. The report also includes visual representations of prevalence over time with respect to each goal as well as a brief narrative synthesizing the findings.
For the most part, the report demonstrates that Cuyahoga County high school students’ engagement in risk and health behaviors are approaching the Healthy People 2020 Goals or, in fact, have met them. However, there are some behaviors for which Cuyahoga’s prevalence is either far below the HP2020 goal and/or is moving away from the goal. Among those behaviors are:
- Reduce bullying
- Increase smoking cessation attempts among current cigarette smokers
- Reduce binge drinking
- Reduce computer use for non-school purposes on school days
- Increase physical activity
- Increase sufficient sleep
- Increase formal instruction on HIV/AIDS prevention
Frank notes that the hope in releasing the report is to “serve those involved in determining health priorities among the adolescent population. Nearly 14% of our county’s population is made up of adolescents ages aged 10-19. We hope that by highlighting some of the key risk behaviors in which our teens currently engage, we can help provide a blueprint for prioritizing areas of program intervention and policy change.”