These are the healthiest and unhealthiest states in the country

Hawaii is the healthiest state in the country for the fifth consecutive year, according to an annual state-by-state health ranking report.  The 2016 America's Health Rankings highlight some long-term improvements in overall health across the country and some disturbing new trends.  While smoking among U.S. adults decreased by 41% since the start of the report in 1990, and the percentage of the population that is uninsured decreased by 35% in the past five years, for the first time in the report’s history, cardiovascular deaths increased over the past year. Even more disturbing, over the past two years, the rate of premature death has also increased, according to Reed Tuckson, external clinical advisor United Health Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation, that sponsors the report.  “We are still living longer, but sicker, and getting sicker sooner,” Reed said. "People are experiencing obesity and related consequences earlier in life which is also a problem.” 
A medical assistant administers an insulin shot to a diabetes patient at a private clinic.
© Sajjad Hussain, AFP/Getty ImagesA medical assistant administers an insulin shot to a diabetes patient at a private clinic.
The report also found that drug deaths increased 9% over the past five years. Tuckson said the report highlights that the nation is at a health crossroads, with positive health changes like a decrease in smoking and more insured people as wins, but troubling levels of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and sedentary behavior diminishing the positive steps.  "We have to remember that we have to put the fight for promoting health and prevent disease much higher on the agenda," Tuckson said. "If we don’t, we as a nation will see further slippage and see those fearful trends of premature death, people dying from cardiovascular disease at higher rates than years before."  According to the report, Hawaii ranked first in overall health, with a low percentage of uninsured people, low rates of obesity and a low prevalence of obesity. But it's not all beachy in paradise, according to the report, which notes Hawaii scores above the national average for excessive drinking. Mississippi fell from 49th to 50th this year, according to the report, which uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association, Census Bureau and even the FBI. It looks at a slew of measures of health, including tobacco and alcohol abuse, exercise, infectious diseases, crime rates, public health funding, access to immunizations, premature birth rates and cancer and heart disease rates. Mississippi has a high prevalence of smoking, low birthweight and a high percentage of children living in poverty, according to the report. But while Mississippi has the most room for improvement, the state does have a low prevalence of excessive drinking and drug-related deaths.  Here's a look at the top five healthiest states:  1. Hawaii 2. Massachusetts 3. Connecticut 4. Minnesota 5. Vermont States with the most room for improvement:  50. Mississippi  49. Louisiana 48. Arkansas 47. Alabama  46. Oklahoma 45. Kentucky  Where does your state fall? Follow Mary Bowerman on Twitter: @MaryBowerman 

source : USA TODAY (

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