Los Angeles County residents ranked 28th in a health survey that included all but two of California's 58 counties.
The ranking is produced annually by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and evaluates the overall health of Americans nationwide. The ratings are based on data on premature death, the percent of people who report being in fair or poor health, the number of days people report being in poor physical and poor mental health, and the rate of low birth-weight babies.
Researchers also outlined factors that contribute to a community's health, including behaviors like smoking, drinking and teen births, clinical care, social and economic factors and the physical environment.
"The rankings remind us that there is a lot more to health than health care alone,'' said Dr. Patrick Remington, associate dean for public health at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. "Where we live, learn, work and play matters to our health."
Los Angeles County's results were largely in line with state averages, with some exceptions.
Air pollution in Los Angeles County ranked 30-50 percent worse, based on the report's measures of particulate matter and ozone. The percentage of uninsured residents, rate of violent crime and rate of transmission of chlamydia were all about 20 percent higher than the state average.
In order to assess how healthy people are and how long they live, researchers also looked at how many fast food restaurants are in a county and the levels of physical inactivity among residents. More than one in five Los Angeles County residents is obese, according to the report.
It's not surprising that Los Angeles County is ranked in the middle of the state rankings, since more than 25 percent of Californians live in the county, significantly affecting the statistics.
Marin and Santa Clara counties ranked No. 1 and No. 2, and Trinity County -- with a population of less than 14,000 -- ranked 56. Sierra and Alpine counties, which together have a population of only about 4,400, were not included.
State rankings are done independently, and the data does not lend itself to state-to-state comparisons.