Risk of premature death higher in South

June 13, 2007 at 11:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- A new report says southern U.S. states lag well behind the rest of the country in health care.

The report by the Commonwealth Fund said uninsured rates for adults and children in Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma are well above the national average. It also found rates of recommended preventative care are generally low and mortality rates from conditions amenable to health care often high,

A number of those states had premature death rates nearly twice that of states ranked in the top five, USA Today said Wednesday.

Premature death is defined as dying before age 75 from conditions that could be delayed or prevented by appropriate medical care, the newspaper said.

The top-performing five states are Hawaii, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, the newspaper said.

"Where you live matters for getting care when you need it, getting the right care and the opportunity to live a long and healthy life," said study co-author Cathy Schoen.

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