United Health Foundation says Wisconsin 16th in 2012 health rankings

MILWAUKEE -- United Health Foundation has released its Health Rankings for 2012. It has found Wisconsin ranks 16th compared with overall health of other states -- down four points from last year. Vermont is the healthiest state for the sixth consecutive year, and Mississippi and Louisiana are tied for last.

The report found that while premature, cardiovascular and cancer deaths have declined since 1990 by 18.0 percent, 34.6 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, Americans are experiencing troubling levels of obesity (27.8 percent of the adult population), diabetes (9.5 percent of the adult population), high blood pressure (30.8 percent of the adult population) and sedentary behavior (26.2 percent of the adult population).

This year’s report finds that, similar to every other state, Wisconsin has its share of strengths and challenges.

Wisconsin’s Strengths

    Wisconsin’s Challenges

      “America’s Health Rankings from United Health Foundation is an incredibly valuable tool for us to clearly understand health trends facing us as a nation and here in Wisconsin. By identifying the key opportunities we face as a state we can pursue innovative solutions to those opportunities," Timothy J. Hill, MD, FACEP, market medical director for UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin said.

      All 50 States:

      Vermont Still the Healthiest; Mississippi and Louisiana tie for last. 

      For the sixth year in a row, Vermont is the nation’s healthiest state. Hawaii is ranked second, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Minnesota.

      The five least healthy states are South Carolina (46), West Virginia (47), Arkansas (48), and Mississippi and Louisiana, which tied for the 49th slot. States that showed the most substantial improvement in rankings include: New Jersey (nine slots), Maryland (five slots), and Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Rhode Island (three slots).

      To see the rankings in full, please visit americashealthrankings.org.