11 December 2012


A non-profit health foundation has released a report which ranks U.S. states according to the health of their residents.  The rankings are based on interviews, and take into account factors including "smoking, binge drinking, obesity, high school graduation rates, sedentary lifestyle, children in poverty, infectious disease cases, air pollution, violent crime, health insurance, immunizations, primary care doctors, hospitalizations, and rate of conditions and deaths [due to determinants like] cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart disease."

You can read more in the Washington Post article, which includes a slide show of the states, ranked from first to last.  Certain patterns emerged ~ the healthier states had significantly lower smoking rates, and the less healthy states had significantly more sedentary lifestyles (defined as 30 days of not exercising outside of work).

The top five states are ~

  • Vermont
  • Hawaii
  • New Hampshire
  • Massachussetts
  • Minnesota
The bottom five states are ~
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
You can draw your own conclusions regarding regional health.  (My home state of Montana ranks 29, and my adopted home state of Arizona ranks 25.)  There were a few surprises, but I won't give them away.  Check out the slide show.

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