Hawaii is the healthiest state in the country for the fifth
consecutive year, according to an annual state-by-state health ranking
The 2016 America's Health Rankings highlight some long-term improvements in overall health across the country and some disturbing new trends.
smoking among U.S. adults decreased by 41% since the start of the
report in 1990, and the percentage of the population that is uninsured
decreased by 35% in the past five years, for the first time in the
report’s history, cardiovascular deaths increased over the past year.
Even more disturbing, over the past two years, the rate of premature
death has also increased, according to Reed Tuckson, external clinical
advisor United Health Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation, that
sponsors the report.
“We are still living longer, but sicker, and
getting sicker sooner,” Reed said. "People are experiencing obesity and
related consequences earlier in life which is also a problem.”
The report also
found that drug deaths increased 9% over the past five years. Tuckson
said the report highlights that the nation is at a health crossroads,
with positive health changes like a decrease in smoking and more insured
people as wins, but troubling levels of obesity, diabetes, high blood
pressure and sedentary behavior diminishing the positive steps.
have to remember that we have to put the fight for promoting health and
prevent disease much higher on the agenda," Tuckson said. "If we don’t,
we as a nation will see further slippage and see those fearful trends
of premature death, people dying from cardiovascular disease at higher
rates than years before."
According to the report, Hawaii ranked first in overall health, with a
low percentage of uninsured people, low rates of obesity and a low
prevalence of obesity. But it's not all beachy in paradise, according to
the report, which notes Hawaii scores above the national average for
Mississippi fell from 49th to 50th this year, according to the report, which uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association, Census Bureau
and even the FBI. It looks at a slew of measures of health, including
tobacco and alcohol abuse, exercise, infectious diseases, crime rates,
public health funding, access to immunizations, premature birth rates
and cancer and heart disease rates.
Mississippi has a high prevalence of smoking, low birthweight and a high
percentage of children living in poverty, according to the report. But
while Mississippi has the most room for improvement, the state does have
a low prevalence of excessive drinking and drug-related deaths.