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San Mateo County Healthiest in California: Report

San Mateo County has taken the top spot in a newly released report that investigates — and ranks — people’s health based on the conditions amid which they work, live and play.

Education, jobs, housing, physical environment and access to care are among the factors that went in favor of California’s healthiest county, according to the study done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Marin and Santa Clara counties occupy ranks two and three respectively. Sonoma, Napa, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and Santa Cruz counties all made it to the top 20 of nearly 60 counties, the report shows.

Lake, Modoc and Alpine counties occupy the last three slots.

Despite the rosy news for many Bay Area counties, researchers found a dark cloud hanging over California. An alarming number of people are falling through the cracks or dying too soon.

“Our country continues to experience an epidemic of drug overdose deaths,” said Abbey Cofsky of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. “It’s by far the leading cause of death among those between 25-44 years old. Nearly five million between the ages of 16 and 24 are not in school, and don’t have jobs.

The researchers urged people to use the county health rankings to see where they can make changes personally and in their communities.

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