Report finds concerning increases in mortality measures for women and children

The newly released 2018 America’s Health Rankings Health of Women and Children Report reveals some progress and several challenges including concerning increases in several of the nation’s key mortality measures for women and children. 

For nearly 3 decades, America’s Health Rankings has provided an analysis of national health by evaluating a historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental and socioeconomic data. This report utilizes 62 health indicators, including those that examine the community and environment, clinical care, behaviors, policies and health outcomes, to better understand the changing health of women and children across the country and state-by-state. 

Among the key findings are:

  • Smoking among women aged 18-44 decreased 10 percent.

  • Tobacco use during pregnancy decreased 7 percent.

  • Across the country, key mortality measures have increased since 2016.

    • 20 percent increase in the rate of drug deaths among females aged 15-44

    • 6 percent increase in the teen suicide rate for adolescents aged 15-19

    • 4 percent increase in the nation’s maternal mortality rate

  • Mortality rates for women and children vary widely across states, with some rates as much as ten times higher in one state versus another. 

  • Rankings for the healthiest and most challenged states in the Health of Women and Children Report are generally consistent with the findings of the 2017 Annual Report.

    • Massachusetts (No. 1) and New Hampshire (No. 2) take the top two spots, followed by Rhode Island (No. 3), Vermont (No. 4) and Minnesota (No. 5).

    • Mississippi ranks as the state with the most challenges; followed by Arkansas (No. 49), Louisiana (No. 48), Oklahoma (No. 47) and Alabama (No. 46) as states with the greatest opportunities for improvement.

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