The Howard County Health Department has released its biennial Report Card of Community Health Indicators. The report card evaluates the health of Howard County residents across several key public health measures, including chronic disease risk factors, cancer incidence, leading causes of death, and maternal and infant health.

Highlights from the report card include:

● A 39% reduction in cigarette use among adult residents from 2019 to 2021.

● Heart disease and cancer continue to be the two most common causes of death in the County.

● Four out of every 10 non-motor vehicle accident deaths were due to falls in 2020.
● Rates of newly diagnosed cancers are stable in Howard County.
○ County residents experience higher rates of female breast cancer, melanoma and prostate cancers; and lower rates of cervical, colorectal, liver and lung cancer when compared to Maryland and the U.S.

● Cancer death rates have declined in Howard County.
○ Rates of cancer mortality are lower for selected sites included in the report when compared to Maryland and the U.S.

● Reported rates of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are highest among Black residents; an almost 8-fold and 14-fold difference respectively when compared to White residents.

● After a steady rise in opioid-related overdose deaths in the County, the rate of opioid-related events, both non-fatal and fatal, appear to have slowed.