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America’s Health Rankings

For the first time, the report incorporates state-specific analysis of quality of medical care delivery versus costs as part of a comprehensive picture of overall health; data indicates inverse relationship between cost and quality.


America’s Health Rankings Gives Nation its Annual Check-up

Americans’ overall health improves slightly from last year, but rate of improvement has leveled off since 2000

Minnesota, Vermont and New Hampshire remain nation’s healthiest states; Louisiana and Mississippi rank as least-healthy states

For the first time, the report incorporates state-specific analysis of quality of medical care delivery versus costs as part of a comprehensive picture of overall health; data indicates inverse relationship between cost and quality


Americans as a whole are only 0.3 percent healthier than they were at this time last year, according to the 17th annual edition of America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for People & Their Communities™, released today. This increase is significantly lower than the nation’s average annual improvement of 1.5 percent documented between 1990 and 2000, and only keeps pace with the 0.3 percent average annual national improvement since 2000. The report also observes that the United States continues to trail other nations in important statistics such as healthy life expectancy and infant mortality.



The report, which is produced by United Health Foundation in partnership with the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, is a yearly assessment of the relative healthiness of the nation, based upon analysis of comprehensive determining factors such as personal behaviors, the environment in which people live and work, the decisions made by public and elected officials and the quality of medical care delivered by health professionals.

This year, the report ranks Minnesota as the healthiest state in the nation for the fourth year in a row. Vermont comes in second, followed by New Hampshire, Hawaii and Connecticut. Louisiana is ranked as the least-healthy state, while Mississippi (49), South Carolina (48), Tennessee (47) and Arkansas (46) complete the bottom five.




Results for Missouri and Kansas:

MISSOURI

Snapshot

Overall Rank: 35

Change: unchanged

Strengths:

* Ready access to adequate prenatal care
* Low rate of uninsured population
* High rate of high school graduation

Challenges:

* High rate of cardiovascular deaths
* High rate of cancer deaths
* High prevalence of smoking

Significant Changes:

-In the past year, the incidence of infectious disease decreased by 24%

-In the past year, the violent crime rate decreased by 7%

-Since 1990, the infant mortality rate decreased by 31%

-Since 1990, the prevalence of obesity increased by 126%

Ranking: Missouri is 35th this year; unchanged from 2005.

Strengths:

Strengths include ready access to adequate prenatal care with 81.9 percent of pregnant women receiving adequate prenatal care, a low rate of uninsured population at 12.1 percent and a high rate of high school graduation with 78.3 percent of incoming ninth graders who graduate within four years.

Challenges:

Challenges include a high rate of deaths from cardiovascular disease at 361.0 deaths per 100,000 population, a high rate of cancer deaths at 213.1 deaths per 100,000 population, a high premature death rate with 8,296 years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 population, a high prevalence of smoking at 23.4 percent of the population and a high prevalence of obesity at 26.9 percent of the population.

Significant Changes:

In the past year, the incidence of infectious disease decreased from 18.4 to 14.0 cases per 100,000 population.

In the past year, the violent crime rate increased from 491 to 525 offenses per 100,000 population.

Since 1990, the infant mortality rate decreased from 10.5 to 7.3 deaths per 1,000 live births. ? Since 1990, the prevalence of obesity increased from 11.9 percent to 26.9 percent of the population.

Health Disparities:

In Missouri, the percentage of women who receive prenatal care varies from 79 percent among Hispanics to 90 percent among whites. Cancer is 23 percent more prevalent among blacks (483.6 cases per 100,000 population) than Hispanics (394.1 cases per 100,000 population).

Clinical Care:

The cost of clinical care in Missouri is moderate compared to other states and the quality of care is moderate.

Missouri State Health Department Web Site:
www.dhss.mo.gov


KANSAS

Snapshot

Overall Rank: 17

Change: up 6

Strengths:

* Low rate of uninsured population
* Low prevalence of smoking
* Low incidence of infectious disease
* Few poor physical health days

Challenges:

* High infant mortality rate
* High percentage of children in poverty

Significant Changes:

-In the past year, the prevalence of smoking decreased by 10%

-In the past year, the percentage of children in poverty increased by 14%

-Since 1990, the prevalence of obesity increased by 82%

-Since 1990, the incidence of infectious disease decreased by 66%

Ranking: Kansas is 17th this year; it was 23rd in 2005.

Strengths:

Strengths include a low rate of uninsured population at 10.8 percent, a low prevalence of smoking at 17.8 percent of the population, a low incidence of infectious disease at 7.9 cases per 100,000 population, ready access to adequate prenatal care, with 79.1 percent of pregnant women receiving adequate prenatal care, and high immunization coverage with 83.8 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months receiving complete immunizations.

Challenges:

Challenges include a high infant mortality rate at 7.1 deaths per 1,000 live births and high prevalence of obesity at 23.9 percent of the population.

Significant Changes:

In the past year, the prevalence of smoking decreased from 19.8 percent to 17.8 percent of the population.

In the past year, the percentage of children in poverty increased from 15.6 percent to 17.8 percent of persons under age 18.

Since 1990, the prevalence of obesity increased from 13.1 percent to 23.9 percent of the population.

Since 1990, the incidence of infectious disease decreased from 23.3 to 7.9 cases per 100,000 population.

Health Disparities:

In Kansas, the percentage of women who receive prenatal care varies from 74 percent among Hispanics to 90 percent among whites. Cancer is 51 percent more prevalent among blacks (470.1 cases per 100,000 population) than Hispanics (311.4 cases per 100,000 population).

Clinical Care:

The cost of clinical care in Kansas is moderate compared to other states and the quality of care is moderate.

Kansas State Health Department Web Site:
www.kdheks.gov/

To view the entire report, please visit
www.americashealthrankings.org or www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.


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