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Thursday, December 10, 2015
Report: Hawaii Ranks #1 in Overall Health
By Andrew Walden @ 11:35 AM :: 5049 Views

2015 AMERICA’S HEALTH RANKINGS ANNUAL REPORT FINDS HAWAII RANKS FIRST AMONG ALL U.S. STATES IN OVERALL HEALTH

  • Hawaii’s strengths include low prevalence of obesity and low rate of preventable hospitalizations; state’s challenges include high incidence of Salmonella and low immunization among adolescents
  • Nationwide, Americans are smoking less and living less sedentary lives, but rising rates of drug deaths – including illegal and prescription drug abuse – diabetes, obesity and children in poverty threaten nation’s health
  • United Health Foundation to publish new reports in 2016 to offer more information to help improve public health

News Release from www.AmericasHealthRankings.org

HONOLULU (Dec. 9, 2015) – In the country’s annual health checkup, Hawaii ranks first this year when compared with other states – according to United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings® Annual Report.

The report’s national data show that in 2015, Americans are making meaningful progress on key health metrics including smoking less and leading less sedentary lives, but rising rates of drug deaths – including deaths from illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse – obesity, diabetes and children in poverty signal serious challenges ahead. United Health Foundation produces the America’s Health Rankings Annual Report to provide actionable, data-driven insights that stakeholders can use to effect change in a state or nationally.

Hawaii’s overall health

The 2015 America’s Health Rankings Annual Report finds Hawaii has a combination of strengths and challenges.

Hawaii’s Strengths

  • Few poor mental health days
  • Low prevalence of obesity
  • Low rate of preventable hospitalizations

Hawaii’s Challenges

  • High prevalence of excessive drinking
  • High incidence of Salmonella
  • Low immunization among adolescents for Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine

“Hawaii's top ranking as the healthiest state in the nation once again this year is very encouraging and reminds us of how fortunate we are to live in the Aloha State,” said Gov. David Y. Ige. “Even with this ranking, we cannot afford to be complacent and we must continue to invest in our public health efforts to ensure access to care and strengthen prevention measures.”

“Hawaii ranks as the healthiest state but we need to remember that we are being compared to a nation that has been transformed over the last three decades with rising obesity and chronic disease rates. State data also masks the equity gap between communities,” said Virginia Pressler, MD, Director of the Hawaii Department of Health. “We need to diligently increase collaboration that will achieve optimal health equity for all people in Hawaii.”

Key Hawaii challenges addressed by UnitedHealthcare and Optum programs

UnitedHealthcare and Optum watch America’s Health Rankings to better understand the health of individuals and communities across the nation and in Hawaii. UnitedHealthcare and Optum have several programs that address the nation’s health challenges at a state level, designed to help educate people about living healthier lives, and empower stakeholders to act to improve health across Hawaii’s communities.

UnitedHealthcare’s efforts include supporting local health and community events throughout the Islands for children, families and seniors, and supporting events such as the IRONKIDS Fun Run and Keiki Dip-n-Dash and organizations such as the local chapters of March of Dimes, YMCA and Alzheimer’s Association to help promote health and wellness for Hawaii residents.

“For the last 26 years, the America’s Health Rankings Annual Report has provided a comprehensive picture of the challenges and opportunities facing Hawaii’s health, and where we stand against our peer states and the nation at large,” said Ron Fujimoto, D.O., chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Hawaii. “We look forward to using this year’s report to continue identifying best practices that address Hawaii’s most pressing health challenges and encourage our residents to lead the healthiest lives possible.”

“This year’s America’s Health Rankings Annual Report reveals many encouraging gains in our nation’s health while showing clearly there is much more we as a country must do to maximize our health potential,” said Reed Tuckson, M.D., external senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation. “This report is a call to action to make disease prevention a key component of our culture. We want to ensure everybody – no matter what state they call home – is empowered to make healthy decisions for themselves, their families and their communities."

To see the national and state rankings in detail, visit www.americashealthrankings.org.

Twitter: @AHR_Rankings

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AmericasHealthRankings

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