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States' Overall Health And Disparities

Armen Hareyan's picture

The United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Preventionon Monday released a report that ranked states' overall health based on20 well-being factors, including poverty levels for children, violentcrime, obesity, and racial and ethnic health disparities, the Salt Lake City Deseret Morning News reports.

Thereport, "America's Health Rankings: A Call to Action for People andTheir Communities," ranked Vermont as the healthiest state, followed byMinnesota, Hawaii, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Mississippi,Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee were ranked at the bottomof the list (Collins, Salt Lake City Deseret Morning News, 11/5).

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Disparities Findings

The report indicated that health disparities remain between minoritiesand whites. According to the report, the rate of premature deaths amongblacks is almost 1.5 times higher than the rate among whites (UHF release,11/5). People living outside of urban centers experienced 30% morepremature deaths than those living in counties near large metro areas,the report found (Salt Lake City Deseret Morning News, 11/5).

Inaddition, the report shows that Hispanics have the lowest percentage ofaccess to routine dental care and colon cancer screenings (UHF release,11/5).

Georges Benjamin, executive director of APHA, said,"Eliminating disparities in health requires a greater emphasis andfocus on the root causes of poor access to care; differential access toquality medical care; and the social determinates that lead tounhealthy living conditions." Reed Tuckson, a UHF board member, said,the report "should be a call to action for all of us who care deeplyabout the health of the nation," adding, "It is our hope that thisreport will serve as a catalyst for positive change and will energizepeople to make significant improvements in health behaviors" (UHFrelease, 11/5).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly HealthDisparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of TheHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.