‘Bridge to Health’ Survey Results Released

DULUTH, Minn. – Results of a key survey of the Northland’s health are being shared next Friday.

The Bridge to Health Survey was conducted late last summer in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and results reveal some of the challenges that created for people, as well as other health needs.

“Having the results of the 2020 Bridge to Health Survey is crucial,” Mary Rapps, survey co-chair and Executive Director of Generations Health Care Initiatives, said. “The Bridge to Health Survey has been a trusted source of health data for the region for more than 25 years. Health professionals, community-based organizations, and researchers rely on the data to understand the health of communities in the region.”

The data includes 7,590 responses to a mailed survey from adults living in Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, and St. Louis counties in Minnesota, and Douglas County, Wisconsin. This survey has been conducted every five years since 1995.

Among the key findings:

  • 44% of respondents reported perceived health as very good or excellent
  • Prevalence of obesity (37%) has increased since the 2015 survey and exceeds state and national levels
  • Respondents with lower income (at or below 200% FPL) have a higher prevalence of all mental health conditions, and nearly all the chronic medical conditions, included in the survey
  • 40% of households with lower income (at or below 200% FPL) have barriers to getting food, 26% of whom visit a food pantry at least once each month
  • 73% of respondents participated in moderate or vigorous physical activity 3 or more times per week
  • 31% of respondents have barriers to internet access
  • 17% of respondents have lost social support and/or income due to the pandemic
  • 6% of respondents were uninsured for part or all of the year; 3% were uninsured at the time of survey
  • Tobacco use has decreased from 2015, with 16% of respondents reporting they currently smoke cigarettes, and 16% having ever used e-cigarettes
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