How Does the Health of Your State Rank?

Modern medicine is prolonging our lives while our lifestyles are shortening it - that paradox is the main finding of the 2012 America's Health Rankings that ranked Vermont as the nation's healthiest state with Louisiana and Mississippi tied for last.

Michelle Healy describes the good news and bad news detailed in the report sponsored by the United Health Foundation with the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention.

"The 2012 America's Health Rankings highlight troubling levels of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and sedentary behavior. Medical advances are allowing more people to live with those conditions.

Life expectancy in the USA is now 78.5 years; premature deaths have dropped 18% since 1990, and deaths from cardiovascular disease are down 34.6%. Cancer deaths are down 7.6%."

"There's no way that this country can possibly afford the medical care costs and consequences of these preventable chronic illnesses," says Reed Tuckson of the United Health Foundation.  "We have two freight trains headed directly into each other unless we take action now."

"People have to be successful at taking accountability for their own health-related decisions."

Readers can check their state to see its ranking.  Lower the rank number, healthier the state.

However, a more optimistic report on one aspect of the nation's health was reported Tuesday in Planetizen: Is America Turning the Tide in the Battle of the Bulge?

Full Story: Health rankings: USA is living longer, but sicker

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