Published: Fri, December 15, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Your health: The healthiest and least healthy states in the US

Your health: The healthiest and least healthy states in the US

MI slipped one spot from a year ago to 35th in the nation for overall health in 2017, according to an annual ranking from United Health Foundation. It reached the top slot in part because it has the lowest percentage of uninsured at 2.7 percent; a high concentration of mental health providers, at 547.3 per 100,000 people in the population; and low obesity rates. This year, two other New England states, Vermont and CT, were ranked in the top five healthiest states, coming in at No. 3 and No. 5, respectively.

Alaska is also in the top ten states for physical activity, public health funding, and dentists and mental health professionals per-capita.

Louisiana, which ranked second-least healthy overall, experienced an increase in drug deaths over the past five years, but in more positive news saw cancer and cardiovascular deaths decline during the same period. Some of the health successes noted in the report included a decline in the percentage of adults who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime from 17.5% to 17.1%, with the prevalence of smoking dropping from 21.2% in 2012.

Florida and Utah experienced the largest improvements in the rankings since past year, rising four places each to number 32 and number 4, respectively.

Child poverty has also decreased statewide, the study said, from 28.5 percent of Arizona children in 2016 to 23.1 percent in 2017.

This latest report shows that the nation's health overall is getting worse.

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The 2017 annual report has unveiled that the country is going through serious public health challenges, including an uneven distribution of health care providers and rising rates of premature deaths.

Frieden, now president and CEO of the group Resolve to Save Lives, said, "Increases in cardiovascular deaths and drug overdoses can be reversed, but it will take concerted action by government, health systems, communities and individuals".

MA did rank in the bottom 10 for drug deaths, however, with 19.8 drug deaths per 100,000 people.

Utah had improved rates of immunization among young children and improved air quality.

"We're spending more on medicinal services and we bite the dust sooner", he said.

For example, MA has more than six times the concentration of mental health providers than Alabama, which has the lowest concentration of any state at 85 providers per 100,000 people.

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