Survey findings offer critical insights into Nashville’s health

The Metro Public Health Department and NashvilleHealth have released findings from the Nashville Community Health and Well-being Survey, the first countywide health assessment in nearly 20 years. While survey findings show bright spots, the results also reveal inequities, areas for improvement, and underscore the role social determinants play in the health and wellbeing of Nashvillians.

“The survey findings provide critical insights that will help us better understand and address the health needs of our city,” said former Sen. Bill Frist, M.D., founder and chairman of NashvilleHealth. “As our community works together to align resources and create solutions, these data will also serve as a baseline from which we can measure the effectiveness of our programs and interventions and track progress over time.”

Survey data shows the vast majority of adults in Davidson County have health insurance and access care annually; however, health insurance coverage varied based on ethnicity with some subgroups of the population such as Hispanic or Latino Nashvillians reporting less health insurance coverage and less access to care.

Obesity is a challenge for the city, with two-thirds of Nashvillians qualifying as obese or overweight. Unlike other health indicators within the survey, overweight and obesity rates remained high among all Nashvillians regardless of education and income levels.

Survey findings also reveal that Nashvillians report 5.3 poor mental health days per month—a full day more than peer cities. This outpaces the state average (4.5 days), and those of similar-sized peer cities Austin (3.3 days) and Charlotte (3.4 days) and the national average (3.8 days).

Nearly one-third of Davidson County residents report having been diagnosed by a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional with hypertension or high blood pressure. Rates jump even higher for Nashvillians who never graduated high school (39.6 percent).

Survey findings also include data on a number of key metrics that inform important health and well-being activities across the city, including how Nashvillians access health care, barriers to care, chronic health conditions, health behaviors and more. A common thread among findings revealed the health and wellness divide in Nashville largely tracks along income levels and educational attainment, with the exception of obesity.

“Having this kind of updated, in-depth data empowers our department and partners with fresh insight into the health of the city,” said Dr. Sanmi Areola, Deputy Director of Health at Metro Public Health Department. “We know social determinants are hugely influential in health. The results of the Nashville Community Health and Well-being Survey help us diagnose our population’s needs as well as strengths.”

The full Nashville Community Health and Well-being Survey results are available online, along with an Executive Summary of key findings at .

This first-of-its-kind large-scale assessment survey was conducted by the nationally recognized Survey Research Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Available in English and Spanish, it was mailed to more than 12,000 Davidson County households and garnered a 15 percent response rate.

Responses are presented by gender, age, ethnicity, education, employment status, annual household income, health insurance coverage, sexual orientation, and five geographic zones of Davidson County.

Involvement and support from a number of stakeholders contributed to the survey development and data analysis. In addition, the following organizations are providing funding for the survey: Amerigroup, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, HCA, LifePoint Health, The Memorial Foundation, Tivity Health, Tennessee Department of Health, UnitedHealthcare, Live Nation, Vector Management, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, NashvilleHealth, Nashville Health Care Council, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Anthem Foundation, The Healing Trust, Joe C. Davis Foundation, Suntrust Foundation, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Leave a Reply