Healthiest and Least Healthy States in America

January 4, 2018
Healthiest and Least Healthy States in America - Soma Technology, Inc.

Healthiest and Least Healthy States in America - Soma Technology, Inc.

Healthiest and Least Healthy States in America

In 2017 America’s Health Rankings looked at 35 measures including environment, policy, behaviors, community, and outcome data. This report shows that the United States is facing some serious health challenges. It has been found that there have been significant increases in drug-related deaths in the past year alone. 2017 also found increases in premature and cardiovascular deaths. What could cause this? America’s Health Rankings examined the concentration of health care providers including mental health, primary care, and dentists around the country. They found that Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island have more than 200 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents. In contrast, Utah and Idaho have fewer than 100. Maybe, the cause could be the ease of access to many different healthcare providers.

Before this year Hawaii has held the top stop for ranking number 1 as the healthiest state for the past 5 years in a row. This year Hawaii has been surpassed by Massachusetts. In order, the top 5 healthiest states of 2017 are Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Utah, and Connecticut. What states are the least healthy? Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and West Virginia. Mississippi has been number fifty for the second year in a row giving it the greatest opportunity for improvement in the upcoming years.

These ranking take into account a wide variety of health factors. Some of these health factors include; obesity, physical inactivity, infant mortality, air pollution, and smoking. But why does this ranking system exist? The data provided by America’s Health Rankings can be used to drive action in improving the health of our communities. Leaders in the community are encouraged to leverage the findings, as well as other data that can be found on America’s Health Rankings website to help identify opportunities for improvement.

Largest Changes since 2016

The Largest changes are led by Florida and Utah moving up a remarkable 4 spots in the ranking system. Florida’s ranking for disparity in health status, mental distress, and children in poverty were the three top reasons for its change. Utah made significant improvements in immunization among children, disparity in health status, and air pollution. Among Florida and Utah; Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma, Rode Island, and Colorado also made significant improvements since last year.

America’s Health Rankings states the highlights below:

  • In the past year, the infant mortality rate did not change. In the past 10 years, the infant mortality rate decreased 13 percent from 6.8 to 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births
  • In the past two years, cardiovascular deaths increased 2% from 250.8 to 254.6 deaths per 100,000 population In the past three years, premature death increased 3% from 6,976 to 7,214 years lost before age 75 per 100,000 population
  • In the past five years, smoking decreased 19% from 21.2% to 17.1% of adults
  • In the past five years, diabetes increased 11% from 9.5% to 10.5% of adults
  • In the past five years, the percentage uninsured decreased 44% from 16.0% to 9.0% of the population
  • In the past 10 years, drug deaths increased 60% from 9.4 to 15.0 deaths per 100,000 population
  • In the past 15 years, preventable hospitalizations decreased 39% from 80.7 to 49.4 discharges per 1,000 Medicare enrollees
  • In the past 10 years, air pollution decreased 30% from 12.2 to 8.6 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter
  • Since 1990, children in poverty decreased 13% from 20.6% to 18.0% of children

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