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America’s Health Rankings tracks multiple measures of mortality and they vary widely between and within states. Table 4 shows the premature death rate, cancer death rate, cardiovascular death rate, infant mortality rate and drug death rate for each state, sorted by overall ranking and shaded by value. The lightest shade indicates a value in the top 10, and the darkest shade indicates a value in the bottom 10. Measures of mortality vary within states, with one state ranking in the same quintile across all five measures of mortality. Mississippi, which ranks last overall and has the largest number of years lost due to premature death, has a relatively low rate of drug deaths. New Mexico, which ranks No. 36 and is among the bottom 10 states in premature death and drug deaths, is in the top 10 in cancer and cardiovascular deaths. Connecticut and New York are among the top 10 healthiest states and are among the five states with the lowest premature death rate. New York, however, is in the bottom 20 states for cardiovascular deaths, and Connecticut is in the bottom 20 states for drug deaths.
Table 5 shows how mortality measures changed in each state over the past five years. The table displays the five-year absolute difference in mortality measures between 2012 and 2017, sorted by the 2017 overall rankings. A positive difference indicates the rate decreased and health improved in the past five years. A negative difference indicates the rate increased and health declined in the past five years. The lighter the color, the greater the improvement. The table demonstrates that states make improvements regardless of their overall rank, and some of the highest ranking states are experiencing increases in measures of mortality. For example, in the past five years drug deaths increased 69 percent in Massachusetts (No. 1), from 11.7 to 19.8 deaths per 100,000 population. Over the same period, drug deaths increased 118 percent in New Hampshire (No. 8) from 11.2 to 24.4 deaths per 100,000 and 56 percent in Rhode Island (No. 11) from 16.0 to 24.9 deaths per 100,000 population. Similarly, in the past five years Utah (No. 4) experienced one of the largest increases in cardiovascular deaths, from 209.9 to 231.8 deaths per 100,000 population.
Some states are making progress in one measure of mortality while struggling with another. For example, cancer deaths decreased in Nevada (No.37) in the past five years from 191.3 to 189.7 deaths per 100,000 population, however, cardiovascular deaths increased from 271.9 to 285.0 deaths per 100,000 population. In Louisiana (No.49), drug deaths increased from 13.7 to 17.7 deaths per 100,000 population in the past five years, while cancer and cardiovascular deaths decreased during the same period (by 1.0 deaths per 100,000 population and 2.3 deaths per 100,000 population, respectively).

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