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Report: Nantucket County Ranked Healthiest In Mass.

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An annual report by the University of Wisconsin ranks Nantucket the healthiest county in Massachusetts, due to its low premature death rate and the high number of residents who report being in good health.

University of Wisconsin Scientist Julia Willems Van Dyke calls Nantucket's premature death rate remarkably low.

"The other thing that is remarkable about Nantucket county is only 6 percent of people in that community report poor or fair health. That's really quite amazing," Willems Van Dyke said. "To be in the single digits is amazing."

But Willems Van Dyke said Nantucket does not rank as high in other ways, such as smoking rates.

"We don't know what their health factors were five, 10, 15 years ago, and so whenever I see factors lower than outcomes, I think that should be a wake-up call for a community," she said.

Hampden County is ranked the least healthy in the state. There, 15 percent of adults report being in poor or fair health.

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This program aired on March 30, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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