If your New Year’s resolution is to get healthy in 2017, you may have better luck in some parts of the country than others. Your best bet is Hawaii, which for the fifth year in a row has ranked first on an annual list of America’s healthiest states.
The report, put out by the United Health Foundation, finds the Aloha State the healthiest thanks to a low prevalence of obesity, high insurance rates and low rates of preventable hospitalizations.
The report’s authors examined those factors as well as dozens of others, including drug deaths, physical activity and air pollution. The data comes from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care and the World Health Organization.
Massachusetts and Connecticut ranked second and third on the list, respectively, with Minnesota and Vermont rounding out the top five.
The unhealthiest states on the list were Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Now in its 27th year, the state health rankings emphasize the challenges facing public health throughout the country. Positive national trends reflected in this year’s report included a reduction in the prevalence of smoking, fewer preventable hospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries and fewer uninsured Americans. Since 1990, smoking among adults has fallen 41 percent, including a 17 percent decrease over the past four years.
However, the report also highlighted some more worrisome trends, such as rising rates of obesity and cardiovascular and drug deaths. This report marked the first time in its nearly three decade history that the rate of cardiovascular death rate has increased, from 250.8 to 251.8 per 100,000.