Ohio statistics

Suicide rates for young Ohioans climb, sharpest rise is among Black Ohioans


While suicide deaths among young Ohioans have risen overall in Ohio over the past two decades, the increase has been sharpest among Black Ohioans. 

In 1999, the suicide rates for both white Ohioans and Black Ohioans ages 10 to 24 were the same: 6.8 per 100,000 people. By 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available), the rate for white Ohioans had risen to 11.2 (an increase of 64%) and the rate for Black Ohioans had risen to 12.8 (an increase of 88%).  

More-recent national research indicates that the disparity in suicide rates may have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Reducing suicide and eliminating disparities are priorities of the Ohio Department of Health’s 2020-2022 State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). Public- and private-sector leaders can implement strategies identified in the SHIP and Ohio’s 2020-2022 Suicide Prevention Plan, including suicide fatality review boards, behavioral health integration with primary care and education on safe storage of lethal means (i.e., firearms and medications). 

This April, HPIO is spotlighting health disparities in Ohio as part of National Minority Health Month.  

If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, please call the National Suicide Hotline toll-free at 1-800-273-8255

Black women in Ohio 2.2 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes, data shows

According to the most-recent data, Black women in Ohio are 2.2 times more likely to die from a cause related to pregnancy and have a 1.85 times higher rate of maternal morbidity (i.e., health problems related to pregnancy and childbirth) than white women.
Differences in healthcare access and conditions such as housing, transportation and income, as well as the cumulative impacts of toxic stress and discrimination, all contribute to stark disparities in maternal outcomes across the state.
Improving maternal health and eliminating disparities are priorities of the Ohio Department of Health’s 2020-2022 State Health Improvement Plan.
Next week is the fifth annual Black Maternal Health Week, an event that coincides with National Minority Health Month. As part of its annual recognition of Minority Health Month, the Ohio Commission on Minority Health has released an extensive calendar of events. Throughout the month, HPIO is releasing new data graphics exploring health disparities in the state. More information and resources about health equity in Ohio are available on HPIO’s website.
HPIO plans to release a fact sheet on maternal mortality and morbidity in Ohio later this month.

Latest data show racial disparities in housing cost burden persists in Ohio


Recently released data shows that Ohioans continue to experience substantial financial burdens when paying for housing, and that Ohioans of color are disproportionately impacted.  

Last year, HPIO released a fact sheet on housing affordability and health equity that described how stable, affordable and safe housing is critical for good health. Above is a graphic from the publication, updated with the most-recently available data. 

The connections between housing and health are clear. Limited high-quality, affor 
dable housing stock forces many Ohioans into stressful and unsafe housing situations that can lead to long-term negative health consequences, such as high blood pressure and poor birth outcomes. 

HPIO’s fact sheet “Connections between Racism and Health: State and Local Policymakers,” further explains the connection between racism, housing and health: “Decades of racist housing policies, such as historical redlining and present-day predatory lending practices, have resulted in neighborhood segregation, concentrated poverty and disinvestment from Black communities in Ohio that continue to this day. As a result, Ohioans of color are more likely to experience harmful community conditions — such as food deserts and unsafe, unstable housing — that impact health.”  

The fact sheet includes action steps policymakers can take to support the health and well-being of Ohioans of color and move Ohio toward a more economically vibrant and healthier future. 

The fact sheet is one in a series of three that are companions to the HPIO policy brief “Connections between Racism and Health: Taking Action to Eliminate Racism and Advance Equity.” The other fact sheets in the series address private-sector organizations and individuals and community groups.

Ohio COVID rate lowest since August

This week, Ohio again saw a significant drop in COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents with numbers at their lowest level since mid-August (Source: “COVID-19 rates hit lowest point since August,” (Warren) Tribune Chronicle, Feb. 18).

It was the fourth consecutive week of declines after 11 straight weeks of increases. The state saw a 46.8% reduction in cases per 100,000 residents from last week and a 371% decline from two weeks ago. 

There were 255.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents for the period between Feb. 3 and Wednesday compared to 481 cases per 100,000 last week, according to Ohio Department of Health data. The CDC defines high transmission as 100 or more cases per 100,000. Ohio's rate hasn’t been below that threshold since July 29 when 77.4 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents were reported by the ODH.

Ohio’s life expectancy ranks near bottom in U.S.

New federal data released last week found life expectancy in Ohio is worse than 41 other states and is the lowest-ranked of the top 10 most populated U.S. states (Source: “Ohio's life expectancy among the worst in U.S.,” Axios-Columbus, Feb 17).

The average life expectancy at birth in Ohio is 76.9, according to 2019 state-by-state data released by the CDC last week. That is down about a full year since 2010. Ohio joins neighbors Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia in the low CDC rankings, along with most southeastern states.

The findings are consistent with those in HPIO’s 2021 Health Value Dashboard, which ranked Ohio 47th on health value, a composite measure of population health and health care spending. The Dashboard identified three key factors for Ohio’s low ranking: childhood adversity and trauma, systemic inequities and sparse spending on public health and prevention efforts.

COVID cases declining in Ohio, but still 'quite high,' ODH director says

COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases are continuing to decrease in Ohio after the record-setting omicron variant peaked in January (Source: “Ohio’s COVID hospitalizations, cases continue to decline but remain high,” Dayton Daily News, Feb. 10).

In the past three weeks, Ohio’s seen the number of COVID patients in the state’s hospitals and ICUs decrease by 50%.

“While I think we can all be very encouraged by the improving trends we’re seeing all across the state, let’s remember that our numbers in Ohio are really still quite high and we need to be careful not to let our guard down too soon,” said ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff.

Despite the decrease in coronavirus cases, Ohio’s transmission rate is still nearly five times higher than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of a high transmission rate. In the past two weeks, Ohio is averaging 481 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. The CDC defines a high transmission rate as 100 cases or more per 100,000 people. None of the state’s 88 counties reported fewer than 100 COVID cases per 100,000 people.

ODH Director: ‘COVID-19 is not going away’

A record 1 in every 46 Ohioans was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past two weeks, with the Ohio Department of Health's director saying the virus “will be a part of our health care landscape for the foreseeable future” (Source: “Record number of Ohioans contract COVID-19,” Youngstown Vindicator, Jan. 21).

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, head of ODH, said Thursday despite “signs of improvement in some of Ohio’s first and hardest-hit areas of this historic and record-shattering surge of COVID-19 cases,” people shouldn’t “breathe such a sigh of relief that they think this is entirely over. We’re still dealing with this surge. COVID-19 is not going away.”

It was the sixth consecutive week that Ohio hit a record high number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Opioid prescriptions continue to drop in Ohio, report finds

Ohio doctors and pharmacists cut back the number of prescription opioids they dispensed last year, a move that continues a large-scale drop in the number of painkillers distributed across the state (Source: “Ohio doctors, pharmacists cut back on the dispensing of prescription opioids in 2021, continuing a yearslong trend,” Cleveland Plain Dealer,  Jan. 17).

Ten years after the peak of the prescription opioid crisis hit, medical providers have sharply reduced the number of pills that reach consumers. Healthcare providers across Ohio distributed 334 million opioid pills last year, nearly a 60% drop from the 793 million in 2012, according to figures released this week by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The numbers are based on the board’s statewide reporting system that tracks prescriptions.

Despite the drop in opioid prescriptions, the number of Ohioans who died from an overdose rose 54% from 2015 to 2020, according to an HPIO fact sheet titled “Refocusing Ohio’s Approach to Overdose Deaths.” The primary reason appears to be the increased presence of synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl and carfentanil) in the drug supply. Since 2016, fentanyl and related drugs have been the most common drugs present in unintentional overdose deaths in Ohio.

Ohio COVID deaths exceed 30k, hospitalizations remain at record levels

Ohio reached a grim milestone of more than 30,000 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, as hospitalizations continue to set new records (Source: “COVID deaths in Ohio reach 30,000 across pandemic,” Hamilton Journal-News, Jan. 7).

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) added 398 deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 30,072.

COVID-19 hospitalizations were only slightly up Friday, but still set a record for the ninth consecutive day as the 21-day case average for the first time exceeded 15,000. COVID patients make up one-third of all hospitalizations across the state and represent one-third of all ICU patients.

There were 19,563 new coronavirus cases reported Friday, which brings the 21-day case average to 15,355, ODH reported.

CDC: Ohio OD deaths increased 26% in 2020

New federal data shows that drug overdose deaths in Ohio increased more than 25% this past year (Source: “Ohio sees 26% increase in fatal drug overdoses,” Ohio Capital Journal, Nov. 30, 2021).

The latest overdose data released last week by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that Ohio went from 4,410 drug overdose deaths last year to 5,585 this year, an increase of 26.6%. The United States has broken the six-figure overdose number, roughly doubling the 49,387 national drug overdose deaths in 2015 to 100,306 in 2021.

While Ohio is close to the national numbers in terms of drug overdose increases, the state is going against the grain in one major area. The CDC reported in March of this year that urban and suburban counties were growing in ODs per capita much than rural counties are. But in Ohio, the per capita OD numbers in smaller counties like Scioto, Columbiana, Adams, Lawrence, and Gallia are much bigger than the big counties like Cuyahoga (Cleveland), Summit (Akron), Stark (Canton), and Hamilton (Cincinnati). Larger suburban counties (Lake, Geauga, Clermont, Delaware) are also much lower than the smaller, more rural counties.

In October, HPIO released a new fact sheet on Ohio policy options for reducing overdose deaths titled Refocusing Ohio’s Approach to Overdose Deaths. This fact sheet, which was released in conjunction with the HPIO policy brief, Taking Action to Strengthen Ohio’s Addiction Response, explores what drives overdose deaths in Ohio, why overdose deaths continue to increase and what state leaders can do to improve overdose prevention.