New National Ranking: How Healthy Is Rhode Island?
Friday, December 09, 2011
The 2011 America's Health Rankings, a collaboration between United Health Foundation and the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, uses numerous health measures to compile a comprehensive perspective on the nation's health issues, state by state.
This is the second year in a row that Rhode Island has ranked #10--certainly an achievement overall, but behind every other New England state. The #1 ranking went to Vermont again this year, and the #2 spot was taken over by New Hampshire, which moved up from #3 in 2010. Connecticut took the #3 slot and Massachusetts #4. Maine held on to its #8 ranking again to fill out the New England region.
How the rankings work
Rhode Island: A snapshot at #10
Holding steady at #10 for the fourth year in the row, Rhode Island ranked #9 for determinants, but #17 for outcomes. On several core measures, here's how the state did.
Diabetes: #17. The percentage of adults who have told by a health professional that they have diabetes, excluding pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes.
Obesity: #18. The percentage of the adult population estimated to be obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) or 30.0 or greater.
Strengths and challenges
- High immunization coverage
- How rate of uninsured population
- Ready availability of primary care physicians
On the other hand, the report highlighted three central challenges from the data:
- High prevalence of binge drinking
- High percentage of children in poverty
- High rate of preventable hospitalization
Changes in the landscape
- The rate of preventable hospitalizations decreased from 74.1 to 70.0 discharges per 1,000 Medicare enrollees.
- Diabetes increased from 7.0 percent to 7.8 percent of adults. Now 65,000 Rhode Island adults have diabetes.
- The percentage of children in poverty decreased from 22.2 percent to 20.4 percent of persons under age 18.
Two other highlights addressed the past decade:
- Obesity increased from 17.1 percent to 26.0 percent of adults, with 215,000 obese adults in the state.
- While smoking decreased from 23.4 percent to 15.7 percent of adults in the last ten years, 130,000 adults still smoke in Rhode Island.
Where RI fared best
Rhode Island's highest national ranking in 2011 was at #2 for Cholesterol Check (the percentage of adults who have had their blood cholesterol checked within the last five years). RI ranked #4 for Immunization Coverage (an average of the percentage of children ages 19 to 35 months who've received DTP, Poliovirus, MCV and HepB vaccines). We also ranked #4 for our high number of Primary Care Physicians per 100,000 population. We ranked #5 nationally for Dental Visits, or the percentage of adults who have visited the dentist or dental clinic within the past five years for any reason.
To hear Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts' interview with Greg Berman on the new rankings, tune into GoLocalTV today at 4pm, here.