The report is from the non-partisan Great Valley Center - its mission is to improve the lives of Central Valley residents. It found high smoking and alcohol use and heart attack deaths in the Central Valley.
Richard Cummings is with the center and says these rates are the highest in the state.
Cummings: “In the San Francisco metropolitan area and the Los Angeles region smoking rates and alcohol rates are at much lower levels than in the Central Valley.”
Cummings says asthma rates are high as well – the worst in Fresno County. He says San Joaquin Valley residents had almost epidemic levels of sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia. And, he says a shortage of doctors in that area is another problem. But, Cummings says there were a couple bright spots: more children are getting immunized and there are lower infant death rates.