Outside Looking In

us_mapOne of our many goals is to one day make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation! A new report, just released by United Health Foundation (UHF), suggests we still have a long way to go.

The UHF report, titled America’s Health Rankings, has Arizona ranked outside the top 10, outside the top 20, and even slightly outside the top 30 at number 31. That’s down two spots from a year ago.

The report’s summary of Arizona’s strengths and challenges can be found below.

STRENGTHS
  • Low prevalence of smoking
  • Low preventable hospitalization rate
  • Low cardiovascular death rate
CHALLENGES
  • High percentage of children in poverty
  • High levels of air pollution
  • Lower number of mental health providers

The number of uninsured in our state dropped, but smoking rates, obesity, drug deaths, cardiovascular and premature deaths all increased.

az_uhf

From USA Today:

Massachusetts is the healthiest state in America, according to a recent report.

The state claims the top spot for the first time in the report’s 28-year history with the lowest percentage of uninsured population, a low prevalence of obesity and a high number of mental health providers. Hawaii had previously held the spot for the past five years.

The report is the longest-running annual assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis. This year’s report evaluates state health using 35 measures in categories such as behaviors, community and environmental conditions, policies and clinical care.

According to CNN, “This latest report shows that the nation’s health overall is getting worse. The nation’s premature death rate — the number of years of potential life lost before age 75 — increased 3%since 2015. That increase is driven in part by drug deaths, which increased 7% during that time, and cardiovascular deaths, which went up 2%.

CBS News added:

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

Conversely, North Dakota experienced the largest rank decline, falling seven places since last year to number 18. The state’s rankings for smoking, Salmonella, and immunizations for children all declined since 2016.

Here is a list of the top 10 healthiest and unhealthiest states according to the new report.

Healthiest

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Hawaii
  3. Vermont
  4. Utah
  5. Connecticut
  6. Minnesota
  7. Colorado
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Washington
  10. New York

Unhealthiest

  1. Mississippi
  2. Louisiana
  3. Arkansas
  4. Alabama
  5. West Virginia
  6. Tennessee
  7. South Carolina
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Kentucky
  10. Georgia

Take a look at the new report, particularly as it relates to Arizona, and let us know what you think. We need to find innovative new ways to drive better health in our state and would love to hear your thoughts on how we can do that. Generating meaningful dialogue around the health issues affecting the people of our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

 

 

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