Portland, ME Ranked 7th Healthiest City for Women Despite Higher than Average Drinking Rates

Self magazine recently ranked Portland, ME the 7th healthiest city for women. The magazine surveyed 100 of the largest metro areas in the U.S. to find “the fittest, healthiest and happiest women in the land.” The survey looked at criteria that included death and disease rates, environmental indicators, community resources and lifestyle habits. San Francisco ranked number 1 for the 2nd year in a row.

Portland ranked high for its low rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), its low violent crime rate and for having more than 2 times as many psychiatrists per capita compared to the average.

While 7th is certainly a good ranking, Portland has been as high as number 2 on the list in the past. The city’s vices included having more sunburns, above-average cancer death rates and, not surprisingly, above average drinking rates.

Portland consistently shows up as having higher rates of drinking alcohol for women and men. Considering the findings, below, taken from the book Women Under the Influence by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia (CASA), it’s fairly impressive (and a bit surprising) that Portland ranks as high as 7:

• Alcohol is associated more closely with crimes of sexual violence than any other drug; it is implicated in as many as 73% of all rapes and 70% of all incidents of domestic violence.

• Seventy-two percent of women who abuse alcohol have had at least one episode of mental illness, compared to 57% of men.

• The most commonly diagnosed mental health problems among girls and women with alcohol problems are depression, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder and eating disorders.

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Portland Press Herald:
Self magazine says Portland seventh-best place for women

Self magazine:
Living well: The healthiest cities for women
Living well: Portland, Maine