We like to think of ourselves as the picture of perfect health — at least until someone actually shows us a picture of our health. That’s what HARC — short for Health Assessment and Research for Communities — did by publishing the results of its fifth Coachella Valley Community Heath Survey.
Throughout 2019, the locally based nonprofit research and evaluation firm conducted the survey via random-digit-dialing of valley residents to obtain a representative snapshot for data that is not available from other sources. Hundreds of topics are now available to the community to view and download.
The survey includes many of the same questions each cycle, allowing for comparisons and projections. However, this year’s survey incorporated new topics, including hospitalization for behavioral health issues, housing stability, loneliness, opioid use, recreational marijuana, adverse childhood experiences, and conversations with children regarding social media.
Here are some highlights:
Health Insurance: In 2019, the Coachella Valley saw a substantial rise in the number of uninsured adults (ages 18–64). Approximately 20.6 percent of local working-age adults are now uninsured. The percentage of uninsured working age adults in the Coachella Valley is almost double the rate as California as a whole (10.7 percent).
Mental/Behavioral Health: More than a quarter of adults in the region (28.6 percent) have been diagnosed with one or more mental health disorders, such as depression (14.2 percent) and anxiety (12.4 percent). While these figures are relatively the same over the years, rates of PTSD diagnoses spiked from 5.4 percent in 2016 to 9.3 percent in 2019.
Obesity: Almost two-thirds (65.9 percent) of Coachella Valley adults are either overweight or obese. However, many of them don’t realize it: 39.1 percent believe they are “about the right weight,” putting them at high risk for obesity-related diseases.
HIV/AIDS Testing: More than half of Coachella Valley adults (51 percent) have been tested for HIV at least once.
View and download the study summary at HARCdata.org.