BEACON TRANSCRIPT – According to the 2016 America’s Health Rankings, Hawaii ranks first among the top five healthiest states in the country. Since 1990, the smoking rates among Americans declined by 41 percent.
Also, the number of uninsured people decreased by 35 percent over the past five years. However, there is a higher number of cardiovascular deaths. Heart disease is now the deadliest condition across the United States.
Reed Tuckson, the external clinical advisor at the United Health Foundation, underlines that since 2014, the rates of premature deaths have increased as well. According to him, although the life expectation is still high, people become sick more often and sooner.
One of the most prevalent conditions is obesity which is the main cause of many long-term consequences. More precisely, obese people have a higher risk of developing heart disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or dementia.
It is worth mentioning that the rates of drug deaths increased by nine percent since 2011. Tuckson stresses that even if the rates of smoking have declined, other public health concerns become more prevalent, including sedentary behavior, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
As such, public health specialists must raise awareness and inform people about the best methods to prevent these conditions. Tuckson fears that if the U.S. public health system doesn’t tackle these issues, many more people will die in the following years.
Hawaii has the best overall health statistics, with low rates of obesity and uninsured people. However, alcohol consumption is still a problem in Hawaii, based on the annual report. The experts have collected data from the FBI, Census Bureau, American Medical Association, and the CDC among others.
The report measures the overall health status based on the rates of cancer, premature birth, heart disease, crime, public health funding, infectious diseases, exercise, alcohol abuse, tobacco consumption, access to immunization.
Mississippi ranks 50th with high smoking rates, kids living in poor conditions, and low birthweight. Fortunately, the rates are low for alcohol abuse and drug deaths. On the annual list, Mississippi is followed by Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Kentucky.
On the other hand, the top 5 healthiest states in the country besides Hawaii are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Vermont.