Tens of thousands of DeKalb residents lack health insurance

Nearly 134,000 DeKalb County residents, about 22 percent, have no health insurance, recent data shows.

The county of more than 700,000 people – one of the largest in the state – falls in the middle of the pack when it comes to uninsured rates in Georgia.

Without insurance, people often go months or years without getting the medical care they need — suffering from diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses that can turn deadly if not treated.

The annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps project was created by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The study provides a snapshot of a community's overall health. It looks at health measures, such as rates of obesity and smoking, access to medical care, long commute times and sexually transmitted diseases.