America's 2018 Health Rankings Annual Report reveals new data

The United Health Foundation released the 29th America’s Health Rankings Annual Report. This year’s report reveals that the nation is faced with rising cases of mortality and chronic disease, such as obesity, that continue to negatively impact the public’s health. 

Among this year’s key findings: 

  • Obesity exceeded 30 percent of the adult population for the first time in America’s Health Rankings history, increasing 5 percent in the past year. 
  • More Americans are dying prematurely than in prior years. Suicide, drug deaths, occupational fatalities and cardiovascular deaths all increased. Notably, suicide increased 16 percent since 2012 revealing health disparities across states and populations.
  • The report reveals positive advancements including an increase in the number of mental health providers and primary care physiciansand a decrease in thepercentage of children in poverty – a strong indicator of socioeconomic status and health throughout the lifespan. Despite these national improvements, there are stark contrasts that vary by state and demonstrate unequal progress.
  • Hawaii reclaims its top rank as the healthiest state in 2018, followed by Massachusetts, which held the title last year. Connecticut, Vermont and Utah all remain in the top five states for overall health.
  • Louisiana has the greatest opportunity for improvement in overall health this year, followed by Mississippi. Alabama, Oklahoma and Arkansas round out the top states with greatest opportunities for improvement.  

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