America’s Health Rankings Report: How does your state rank?

The United Health Foundation has released its 26th annual American’s Health Rankings Report. Which is the healthiest state in the Union? Here’s a clue – it ain’t in the continental United States.

2015 America’s Health Ranking

Rank/State

Score

1.       Hawaii

0.892

2.       Vermont

0.831

3.       Massachusetts

0.709

4.       Minnesota

0.696

5.       New Hampshire

0.688

6.       Connecticut

0.669

7.       Utah

0.653

8.       Colorado

0.560

9.       Washington

0.512

10.   Nebraska

0.490

11.   New Jersey

0.473

12.   North Dakota

0.453

13.   New York

0.438

14.   Rhode Island

0.377

15.   Maine

0.370

16.   California

0.354

17.   Idaho

0.351

18.   Maryland

0.330

19.   South Dakota

0.318

20.   Oregon

0.306

21.   Virginia

0.294

22.   Iowa

0.238

23.   Montana

0.208

24.   Wisconsin

0.192

25.   Wyoming

0.132

26.   Kansas

0.105

27.   Alaska

0.057

28.   Illinois

-0.001

29.   Pennsylvania

-0.028

30.   Arizona

-0.069

31.   North Carolina

-0.130

32.   Delaware

-0.162

33.   Florida

-0.174

34.   Texas

-0.191

35.   Michigan

-0.275

36.   Missouri

-0.291

37.   New Mexico

-0.317

38.   Nevada

-0.354

39.   Ohio

-0.366

40.   Georgia

-0.371

41.   Indiana

-0.440

42.   South Carolina

-0.555

43.   Tennessee

-0.586

44.   Kentucky

-0.599

45.   Oklahoma

-0.663

46.   Alabama

-0.696

47.   West Virginia

-0.770

48.   Arkansas

-0.888

49.   Mississippi

-0.952

50.   Louisiana

-0.986

 

 

Largest Rank Changes Since Last Year

Improved

Declined

State

2014

2015

Change

State

2014

2015

Change

North Carolina

37

31

6

Oregon

12

20

8

Maine

20

15

5

New Mexico

33

37

4

Washington

13

9

4

Alabama

43

46

3

Delaware

35

32

3

North Dakota

9

12

3

Kentucky

47

44

3

Texas

31

34

3

 

Highlights

·         For the fourth year in a row, Hawaii is the healthiest state in the U.S.

·         North Carolina is the most improved state in rank, moving up from 37th to 31st. Physical inactivity decreased 13%, and HPV immunization in adolescent females increased 65%.

·         Washington improved from 13th to 9th. Disparity in health status by education level decreased 30% but excessive drinking increased 2%.

·         Oregon dropped from 12th to 20th. Drug deaths decreased 5%, health disparity by education level increased 10%, and obesity increased 5%.

·         New Mexico dropped from 33rd to 37th. Immunizations in children aged 19-35 months increased 16% in, HPV immunization coverage in adolescent females decreased 10%, and violent crime increased 10%.

·         Maine improved from 20th to 15th. Immunization in children aged 19-35 months increased 25%, and physical inactivity decreased 15%.

·         The country displays signs of short-term improvement with decreases in preventable hospitalizations and physical inactivity, and with increases in immunization coverage in children and adolescents. There was also continued long-term improvement in cigarette smoking, cardiovascular deaths, and infant mortality.

·         There are worrisome increases in rates of drug deaths, diabetes, obesity, and children in poverty. Additionally, premature death rates have leveled off; many early deaths are preventable through changes in lifestyle.

 

State rankings

Healthiest

·         Hawaii has been in the top 6 since the Rankings were first published in 1990.

·         The Aloha State has a low prevalence of obesity, low rates of preventable hospital stays, and few poor mental health days. Immunizations in children aged 19-35 months increased by 11%.

·         There is room for further improvement in the areas of immunizations among adolescents for the Tdap vaccine, excessive drinking, and incidence of Salmonella.

Most improved

·         North Carolina climbed 6 spots due to an improvement in immunizations among children and HPV immunizations among adolescent females, as well as a decline in physical inactivity and in the incidence of Salmonella infections.

·         Maine went from 20th to 15th, Kentucky rose from 47th to 44th, and Delaware moved from 35th to 32nd.

Most challenged

·         Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Kentucky make up the bottom 5.

 

Successes

Vs.

Challenges

Smoking

Decreased 5% to 18.1% of adults from 19.0% since last year, and from 29.5% since 1990.

 

Drug deaths

Increased 4% from 13.0 to 13.5 deaths per 100,000 population. In 2013, drug deaths were only 12.2 deaths per 100,000 population.

Immunizations

Coverage in children aged 19-35 months increased 5% from 68.4% to

71.6% in the last two years.

Obesity

Increased 7% from 27.6% to 29.6% of adults in the last two years. In 1990, obesity was less than 12% of the adult population.

Preventable hospitalizations

Decreased 8% from 62.9 to

57.6 discharges per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries. In the past 2 years, there was an 11% decrease, and since 2001 the decrease has been 30%.

Childhood poverty

Increased 6% from 19.9% to 21.1%. Since 2002, it has increased 34% from 15.8% to 21.1%.

Infant mortality

Decreased 41% from 10.2 to 6.0 deaths per 1,000 live births since 1990.

Diabetes

Increased from 4.4% of the adult population to 10% in the last 20 years.

Cardiovascular deaths

Decreased 23% from 326.6 to

250.8 deaths per 100,000 population in the last decade.

Premature death

No progress has been made in the past three years.

Cancer deaths

Decreased 4% from 197.5 to 189.6 per 100,000 population since 1990.

 

Air pollution

Decreased 24% from 12.5 to 9.5 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter in the past decade.

 

Violent crime

Decreased 51% from 746 to 368 offenses per 100,000 population in the past 20 years.

 

 

Related: Tell me once again, who's fat? That would be Mississippi