Nassau vs. Suffolk: Which county is healthiest on Long Island?

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Does Nassau County have a higher rate of obesity?

Do Suffolk adults binge drink more often?

Is one end of the Island more sleep deprived than the other?

We Long Islanders have our friendly arguments over which county has the best beaches, pizza and hometown celebrities. However, when it comes to health, Nassau is the winner, according to the latest numbers from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.

Nassau was ranked the third healthiest in New York State behind Saratoga and Rockland Counties. While Nassau was ranked healthier overall, Suffolk wasn't far behind in seventh place. The ratings are based on how long residents live and how healthy they feel in their lifetimes.

Here is how Long Island's counties stacked up against each other in some of the major categories.

Drug overdose deaths

Healthiest: Nassau Nassau County reported 13 drug overdose
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(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Healthiest: Nassau

Nassau County reported 13 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people, compared with 18 in Suffolk. Both counties were above the state average of 12 deaths per 100,000 in the population.

Diabetes

Healthiest: Nassau Nassau County had an 8 percent
(Credit: Alisha Vargas via Flickr Creative Commons)

Healthiest: Nassau

Nassau County had an 8 percent rate of diabetes prevalence, compared to a 9 percent rate in Suffolk. Both fell below the state average of 10 percent.

Car crash deaths

Healthiest:Nassau Nassau County reported seven motor vehicle crash
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(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Healthiest:Nassau

Nassau County reported seven motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 10 in Suffolk. Both were above the statewide average of 6 crash deaths per 100,000 in the population.

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Longest commutes driving alone

Healthiest: Suffolk About 40 percent of Suffolk County
(Credit: Danielle Finkelstein)

Healthiest: Suffolk

About 40 percent of Suffolk County workers have a commute longer than 30 minutes and are alone in their cars. The Nassau rate is about 44 percent. Statewide, the numbers drop to 36 percent.

Adult smoking

Healthiest: Nassau Nassau County reported 12 percent of
(Credit: Julie via Flickr Creative Commons)

Healthiest: Nassau

Nassau County reported 12 percent of adults who smoke, compared with 14 percent of Suffolk adults. Both fell below New York's 15 percent average.

Excessive drinking

Healthiest: Nassau In Nassau County, 17 percent of
(Credit: iStock / Dusan Zidar)

Healthiest: Nassau

In Nassau County, 17 percent of adults admitted to heavy or binge drinking, compared with 20 percent in Suffolk. The state average was 18 percent.

Access to healthy foods

Healthiest: Nassau Nassau County has a zero-percent rating
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(Credit: Steve Pfost)

Healthiest: Nassau

Nassau County has a zero-percent rating for people who are low-income and do not live close to the grocery store. This is compared to 4 percent of low-income Suffolk residents, and 2 percent of those statewide.

Uninsured adults and children

Healthiest: Nassau About 9 percent of Nassau County
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Healthiest: Nassau

About 9 percent of Nassau County adults are uninsured, compared with 11 percent of adults in Suffolk. This is compared to 12 percent across the state.

Both counties report that 3 percent of children are uninsured, which matches the statewide average.

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Sexually transmitted infections

Healthiest: Suffolk There were 237.2 new diagnoses of
(Credit: iStock)

Healthiest: Suffolk

There were 237.2 new diagnoses of chlamydia per 100,000 people in Suffolk County, compared with 257.1 cases in Nassau. The statewide rate was nearly double Long Island's average, with 502.8 new chlamydia cases per 100,000.

HIV prevalence

Healthiest: Suffolk An average of 264 out of
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Healthiest: Suffolk

An average of 264 out of every 100,000 Nassau County residents has been diagnosed with HIV, compared with 236 Suffolk residents. This is less than half the statewide average of 784 people per 100,000 of the population.

Insufficient sleep

Healthiest: Tie An average of 37 percent of
(Credit: Phalinn Ooi via Flickr Creative Commons)

Healthiest: Tie

An average of 37 percent of Nassau and Suffolk County adults say they get less than seven hours of sleep per night. The state average is 38 percent.

Adult obesity

Healthiest: Suffolk Suffolk County had a 23 percent
(Credit: Ayurvedic India via Flickr Creative Commons)

Healthiest: Suffolk

Suffolk County had a 23 percent adult obesity rating compared to 24 percent in Nassau. Both were below the state average, which is 25 percent.

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