8 Pages • Read Time 15 Minutes

2024 Health Value Dashboard data brief

What's driving the trend on early death?

Many Ohioans struggle with poor health outcomes that result in early death. These deaths are largely preventable and have a tremendous impact on Ohio families and communities. Using data from the 2024 Health Value Dashboard, this brief explores the experiences and environments — addiction and overdose, alcohol overuse, tobacco use and violence and firearms — that lead to deaths among working-age Ohioans (ages 15-64) and provides a set of policies to drive improvement.


Deaths among working-age Ohioans

As reported in HPIO’s 2023 analysis of death trends among working-age Ohioans, Ohioans between the ages of 15 and 64 are dying at a much higher rate than they were 15 years ago.

The biggest increases in the leading causes of death for Ohioans ages 15-64 are in unintentional injuries (including overdose deaths), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, homicide, suicide and chronic lower respiratory diseases. The experiences and environments driving these trends can be exacerbated by systemic challenges, including a lack of economic opportunity and experiences of discrimination. 


Policies to drive improvement in Ohio

Reduce the overdose death rate

  • Improve access to naloxone, the overdose reversal medication, by expanding the Ohio Department of Health’s Project DAWN and other distribution programs, including outreach to grassroots organizations in Appalachian and Black communities.
  • Increase drug checking, such as rapid fentanyl testing, by increasing funding for syringe services programs to provide these services and investing in drug-checking technology.

Prevent addiction to tobacco and alcohol

  • Establish state-level retailer licensing to prevent retailers from operating in clusters and limit youth access.
  • Implement marketing restrictions on tobacco products and prohibit product types that are attractive to children and adolescents (including flavored products).
  • Increase tobacco and alcohol prices by increasing the cigarette tax or equalizing the tax on other tobacco products to match the cigarette tax and increasing the excise tax rates on beer and wine.

Prevent community violence

  • Implement community-based violence prevention programs to promote positive social norms that decrease violence, through programs such as Green Dot, and disseminate research evidence and best practices to guide local violence prevention efforts.
  • Reduce access to lethal means, including firearms, by promoting safe storage through expanding Life Side Ohio and Store it Safe, and by implementing mandatory waiting periods for the possession of a firearm after purchase.

Invest in Ohio communities

  • Increase neighborhood safety by improving the quality of affordable housing and addressing abandoned or blighted properties through programs such as housing rehabilitation loan and grant programs.
  • Create economic opportunity by increasing investment in workforce training and preparedness, such as through high school equivalency credentials, subsidized employment and career pathway programs, and by making the Earned Income Tax Credit refundable.
  • Advance equity by implementing health equity impact assessments to identify the potential health impacts of proposed policies, programs and services on systematically disadvantaged groups.

Facts and Figures

Use HPIO graphics and data in your work. To use the data graphics in your presentations, click here to access the slides on Google Drive, click “File” and then “Download.” This will allow the option to download individual slides or the full deck into PowerPoint slides, a jpg, pdf or other available media files.


Hailey Akah, JD, MA

Robin Blair-Ackison, MPH

Édith Nkenganyi, BA

June Postalakis, BS

Published On

May 29, 2024

Download Publication

Focus Areas