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Connecticut Ranks 6th in National Health Study

The new report says the state has a low number of smokers and a low rate of infectious diseases.

Connecticut ranked as the 6th healthiest state in the nation in 2012, thanks to the low number of smokers here as well as a high number of people who get immunizations, according to a new report by the United Health Foundation.

The study, “America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for Individuals & Their Communities,” has been produced each year by the group for the last 22 years. It provides a “unique, comprehensive perspective on how the nation - and each state - measures up.”

The study noted several healthy habits or conditions here in Connecticut including:

  • Low prevalence of smoking
  • Low incidence of infectious disease
  • High immunization coverage
  • Low rate of uninsured population

The study also found that “obesity is more prevalent among non-Hispanic blacks at 41.4 percent than Hispanics at 28.6 percent and non-Hispanic whites at 21.0 percent; and sedentary lifestyle is more prevalent among Hispanics at 27.5 percent than non-Hispanic whites at 19.9 percent.”

Connecticut this year slipped from the fourth healthiest state in the union in 2011 to the sixth, the report found. The study includes the following highlights about the state of Connecticut’s health:

  • While Connecticut has one of the lowest smoking rates in the U.S., 475,000 adults still smoke.
  • In the past 5 years the high school graduation rate declined from 80.7 percent to 75.4 percent of incoming ninth graders who graduate in 4 years.
  • In the past 10 years, the percentage of children in poverty increased from 8.9 percent to 14.3 percent of persons under the age of 18.
  • In the past 5 years, public health funding increased from $57 to $71 per person.
  • In the past 5 years, the rate of preventable hospitalizations decreased from 67.3 to 60.4 discharges per 1,000 Medicare enrollees.
  •  In the past year, the infant mortality rate decreased from 6.3 to 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Coming in first in the organization’s health rankings was Vermont, while Louisiana and Mississippi tied for last place, in part because of high obesity rates and low birth rates among its residents.

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