Rhode Island Tenth in America’s Health Rankings
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Rhode Island boasts the fifth best rate of "prevalence of smoking" as perfect of population (15%) as the national level of tobacco use decreased to a 21-year low. A strong ready availability of primary care physicians and high health funding at $113 per person, ranked nationally fourth and tenth respectively, contributed to RI's overall high ranking. In the past year the rate of preventable hospitalizations declined from 78.5% to 74.1% per 1,000 Medicare enrollees, but Rhode Island still ranks low in the nation overall, at 34th.
Challenges for the Ocean State
The state's prevalence of binge drinking sits at 17.9% (placing it in the worst 10 states in the nation) and an even higher rate of children in poverty at 22.2% pose key health concerns that Rhode Island must continue to reduce. Rhode Island's children in poverty rate is higher than the nation's 20.7%.
In the past ten years, the incidence of infectious disease decreased from 28.6 to 13.8 cases per 100,000 population. Since 1990, the prevalence of obesity increased from 11.1 percent to 24.9 percent of the population.
United Health Foundation comments
"Every state can create effective solutions to many of the health challenges they face," said Reed Tuckson, MD, United Health Foundation board member and executive vice president and chief of medical affairs, UnitedHealth Group. "States can use America's Health Rankings to identify their state's and other states' strengths and use those examples to address areas that need attention in their own state. The key is action. We must continue to work toward impacting change in unhealthy behaviors and other factors that negatively impact a state."
In 1990, RI debuted at number 12 in America's Health Rankings and has remained ranked at the top for 20 years. For Rhode Island to improve the health of its population, efforts must focus on changing the determinants of health. In contrast to other states, Rhode Island has a higher score for determinants than for outcomes, showing a strong indication for Rhode Island's improvement in overall health ranking in the future.
To see all the information on Rhode Island's health rankings visit the United Health Foundation.
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