Vermont is the healthiest state; Miss. the least

Dec. 6, 2011 at 2:23 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- For the fifth year in a row, Vermont is the nation's healthiest state and for the 10th year Mississippi is the least healthy, a ranking of all states shows.

The America's Health Rankings, published jointly by United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, said Vermont, the first state in the nation to offer single payer healthcare or basically, Medicare for all, has a low rate of uninsured and accessible preventive care.

The state ranks No. 1 for all health determinants combined and it ranks in the top 10 states for high school graduation, a low violent crime rate, a low rate of infectious disease, a high usage of early prenatal care, high per capita public health funding and ready availability of primary care physicians.

Mississippi has been in the bottom three states since 1990, and ranks 48th for all health determinants combined, but the state ranks well for a low prevalence of binge drinking, a low violent crime rate and a high rate of immunization coverage.

It ranks in the bottom five states on 12 of the 23 measures including a high prevalence of obesity, a high percentage of children in poverty and a high rate of preventable hospitalizations.

New Hampshire ranked second as healthiest state, followed by Connecticut, Hawaii and Massachusetts. Following Mississippi's least healthy state ranking are Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alabama, the rankings showed.

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