In its annual America’s Health Rankings report, United Health Foundation identified the healthiest and most unhealthy states in 2015.
The report examined a number of factors within four categories: behavior; environment and community; health care, government and other prevention systems; and clinical care.
Using those measures, the report found that there were improvements in preventable hospitalizations, decreases in cigarette smoking and increases in immunizations of children, yet the rate of drug deaths, diabetes, obesity and children living in poverty increased.
“Too many Americans today are developing chronic illnesses due to their lifestyle choices. The nation can and must work together to fight obesity, diabetes and other serious chronic conditions, and to amplify support for the nation’s most vulnerable populations through innovative community-based programs and solutions,” said Rhonda Randall, D.O., senior adviser to United Health Foundation and chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions.
Hawaii for the fourth time was deemed the healthiest state, while North Carolina marked the biggest improvement – climbing from 37th to 31st in rank.