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STATES DRIVING CHANGE

ASTHO, with support from the United Health Foundation, researched how America’s Health Rankings® are used to improve health across the country. It found that the report is used in a variety of ways, but centered on three primary themes:

  • Inform state health priorities.
  • Influence state policies.
  • Transform state health systems.

The following state snapshots illustrate how states translate America’s Health Rankings® into action in an effort to drive change.

ARKANSAS

Arkansas Arkansas ranks 49th in 2013.  The Arkansas Department of Health uses America's Health Rankings® to: |More|

GEORGIA

GeorgiaGeorgia ranks 38th in 2013.  The Georgia Department of Public Health uses America's Health Rankings® to: |More|

LOUISIANA

LouisianaLouisiana ranks 48th in 2013.  The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals uses America's Health Rankings® to: |More|

 

 

RHODE ISLAND

Rhode IslandRhode Island ranks 19th in 2013.  The Rhode Island Department of Health uses America's Health Rankings® to: |More|

TENNESSEE

Tennessee imageTennessee ranks 42nd in 2013.  The Tennessee Department of Health uses America's Health Rankings® to: |More|

OKLAHOMA

OklahomaOklahoma ranks 44th in 2013.  The Oklahoma State Department of Health uses America's Health Rankings® to: |More|

 

 



About the 2013 Annual Report

For over 20 years, America’s Health Rankings® has been tracking the state of our nation’s health by studying numerous health measures to compile a comprehensive perspective on our nation’s health issues, state by state.

 
 


About the 2013 Senior Report

America's Health Rankings Senior Report compares the health of all 50 states to each other using 34 different measures of health ranging from smoking and obesity to ICU usage.  Learn more about senior health in your state today.

 
 


Learn How to Improve Your Health

Get the right tools and learn how you can get involved, make a difference and become an advocate to improve our nation’s health.

 
 


Taking Action Across the Nation

Success Stories
Read the latest about those who are making the jump and improving their quality of life.

Minnesota | St. Louis | Maine | Louisiana

Celebrating America’s
Public Health Professionals

Learn more about those who have gone above and beyond to improve the health of their state.

Meet The Heroes

 


Overall Rankings

 
 

Our health is impacted by a combination of individual choices, our environment, public policy and clinical care.

For over 20 years, America’s Health Rankings® has been tracking the state of our nation’s health by studying numerous health measures to compile a comprehensive perspective on our nation’s health issues, state by state.

Search the rankings to discover little known facts and statistics, and find out how you can take action and become an advocate for improving our nation’s health.

 



Smoking in America

Map of the smoking rates in the states

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US.  Smoking damages nearly every organ in the body and causes many diseases, including respiratory disease, heart disease, stroke, cancer, preterm birth, low birthweight, and premature death. Smoking is a lifestyle behavior that an individual can directly influence with support from the community and, as required, clinical intervention.

This map shows the percentage of the population over age 18 who smoke tobacco products regularly. It is defined as the percentage of adults who self-report smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and who currently smoke every day or some days. The national median of regular smokers is 19.6 percent of adults. The percentage of the adult population who smokes varies from a low of 10.6 percent in Utah to 28.3 percent in Kentucky.

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Obesity in America

State map of obesity prevalence in 2013

Obesity is one of the greatest health threats to the US. It contributes significantly to a variety of serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers as well as poor general health. Obesity is a leading cause of preventable death in the US.

Obesity is the percentage of the adult population estimated to be obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher. The prevalence of obesity ranges from 20.5 percent of the adult population in Colorado to 34.7 percent of the adult population in Louisiana. The national median of obese adults is 27.6 percent. This means that more than one in four adults are obese in the United States – that is more than 66 million adults with a body mass index of 30.0 or higher.

See the progression of obesity over the last 24 years and learn more here.



Physical Inactivity In America

State map of sedentary lifestyle prevalence in 2013

Regular physical activity is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle. Without physical activity, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and premature death increase.

Physical Inactivity is the percentage of adults who report doing no physical activity or exercise (such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking) other than their regular job in the last 30 days.  The percentage of sedentary adults ranges from 31.4 percent of the adult population in Arkansas to 16.2 percent in Oregon. The national median is 22.9 percent.

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Diabetes in America

Diabetes in the U.S. 2013

Diabetes is often an outcome of an unhealthy lifestyle and increases one’s risk of developing many other diseases and complications.  Type 2 diabetes is a largely preventable progressive disease that is managed through lifestyle modifications and health care interventions; it accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all cases.

Diabetes is the percentage of adults who have been told by a health professional that they have diabetes, excluding pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes. The percentage of adults with diabetes ranges from 13.0 percent in West Virginia to 7.0 percent in Alaska. The national median of adults with diabetes is 9.7 percent.

|More|

 



public health heroes



Take Action For Senior Health

 
 

In the next 15 years, America’s senior population will grow by 53 percent. People are living longer lives than ever before. Unfortunately, while we are living longer lives, we are seeing poorer health among people aging into their senior years. By looking holistically at key measures related to seniors’ lifestyles, social supports, environment, clinical care and health care outcomes, we get a comprehensive picture of senior health that reflects the unique challenges of each state. Based on a rigorous review of 34 measures, the 2013 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report finds Minnesota is the leading state for senior health and Mississippi ranks last for senior health.



Prevalence of obesity among seniors, 2013 Edition

 

Over a quarter of seniors are already obese and at an increased risk of developing numerous health problems including diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers. Obesity is also associated with poorer health status and an earlier death. Fortunately weight loss can dramatically decrease the likelihood of developing health problems and can even help with the management if they have already developed.

The obesity measure is the percentage of the population aged 65 and older estimated to be obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher. The prevalence of obesity among adults aged 65 and older varies from 16.9 percent in Hawaii to more than 29.0 percent in Illinois, Iowa, Alaska, and Michigan. Nationally, the percent of adults aged 65 and older who are obese is 25.3 percent. 



Physical Inactivity - Seniors - 2013 Report

Physical inactivity is especially relevant in the senior population as aging causes a gradual decline in muscle mass, but with regular physical activity seniors can slow this process allowing them to be active throughout aging. Physical inactivity has other serious adverse affects on health as it increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and premature death. Regular physical activity not only helps prevents these health conditions, but can also help with their management. 

The physical inactivity measure is the percentage of the population aged 65 and older with fair or better health status who report doing no physical activity or exercise (such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking) other than their regular job in the last 30 days. The prevalence of physical inactivity among adults aged 65 and older varies from 20.5 percent in Colorado to more than 41.0 percent in West Virginia and Tennessee. Nationally, the percent of adults aged 65 and older who are physically inactive is 30.3 percent.



Low-care nursing home residents -2013 senior edition

Low-care nursing home residents do not require the physical assistance provided by nursing homes and may be able to live in a less restrictive environment with the aid of community support. This measure helps us address the need for community-based support and/or assisted living alternatives to reduce reliance on traditional nursing home settings for people requiring a lower level of support. Community-based services—such as Meals on Wheels, visiting home health aides, transportation programs, and technology-delivered healthcare programs—can allow older adults to age in place.

Low-Care Nursing Home Residents is the percentage of nursing home residents who are low-care, meaning they do not require physical assistance in any of the 4 late-loss activities of daily living (ADLs)—bed mobility, transferring, using the toilet, and eating. The national average of low-care nursing home residents is 12.2 percent and ranges from a low of 1.1 percent of nursing home residents in Maine to a high of 26.7 percent in Illinois.



Food insecurity - 2013 Edition

The ability to access affordable and nutritious food is important and necessary to sustain a healthy life. This  is a rising public health issue in the United States and older adults are at an increased risk of facing hunger due to lack of income and transportation, functional limitations, or health related issues. Older adults struggling with access to food consume significantly less vital nutrients than those with access to food, which can have tremendous implications for their overall health.

The food insecurity measure is the percentage of adults aged 60 and older who are marginally food insecure, or face the threat of hunger. The percentage of adults aged 60 and older who are marginally food insecure varies from a low of 5.5 percent in North Dakota to a high of more than 21.0 percent in New Mexico and Mississippi. The national average of marginally food insecure seniors is 13.6 percent of adults aged 60 and older.