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New Report Says US is Healthiest and Least Healthy States

15 December 2017

The United Health Foundation's annual USA health rankings do more than just rank our 50 states by where the most fit people live.

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said, "We don't have a system with everybody in".

The study shows that Oklahoma has jumped nine spots, up to 36th in the nation, when it comes to the rate of tobacco users.

Among other categories in which MA was ranked first were immunizations of children ages 19 to 35 months; immunization of adolescents ages 13 to 17 years with Tdap vaccine, a combination vaccine that protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough); percentage of the population that is uninsured; number of dentists per 100,000 people; and number of mental-health providers per 100,000 people. The state with the largest rank decline, however, was North Dakota, whose rankings for smoking, Salmonella and immunizations among children all declined this year.

Colorado remains one of the least obese states in the country.

The report emphasizes a recent overall national health trend that is highly troubling.

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Yet even the healthiest states were not immune to the opioid crisis or negative effects of rising obesity and cardiovascular risks across the nation.

The report says Minnesota's key strengths are a low percentage of uninsured residents, a low cardiovascular death rate and a low percentage of children living in poverty. "Today's news is a testament to the hard work and dedication of many people working across state and local government, healthcare providers, and at the community grassroots level to make MA healthier". Drug deaths have decreased slightly, and preventable hospitalizations have decreased by almost forty percent.

Hawaii came in second, Vermont third, Utah fourth and CT fifth. "We have to do a period out and make sense of how to do this better".

The first is to follow the "ABCs" suggested by the federal Million Hearts program, which calls for aspirin when appropriate, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation.

The fourth step is to diminish weight by measures, for example, imposes on sugar-sweetened refreshments.

New Report Says US is Healthiest and Least Healthy States