NC slips to 35th place in foundation's yearly health survey

12/11/2013 10:57 AM

12/11/2013 10:59 AM

North Carolina slipped to 35th place nationwide in the United Health Foundation’s annual survey of Americans’ health.

The state, which ranked 34th in 2012, is plagued by a high infant mortality and low public-health funding compared to other states. A quarter of the state’s adults – 1.8 million people – lead physically inactive lifestyles, the foundation said this week.

The rankings compare states to each other by a variety of measures culled from federal databases.

The nation’s healthiest state is Hawaii, which edged out Vermont this year. The poorest health ranking went to Mississippi, at the bottom of a pack of other Southern rural states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and West Virginia.

The health rankings are based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

North Carolina continues to struggle with a limited availability of dentists in rural areas, babies born with low birth weights, and an infant mortality rate of 7.5 per 1,000 births.

On the upside, North Carolina has a high immunization rate for children and low incidence of binge drinking.

The foundation also noted that in the past 5 years, two other indicators of poor public health significantly improved: North Carolina’s air pollution decreased 34 percent and preventable hospitalizations came down 25 percent.

Staff writer John Murawski

Join the Discussion

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service