Connecticut is the sixth healthiest state in the nation, according to the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings.
While the state ranks near the top, that ranking is lower than it was a year ago, when it came in fourth, according to the information released Tuesday.
Lifestyle Choices Take Their Toll
Medical advances are prolonging life expectancies, but lifestyle choices are cutting them short in many cases, the study finds. Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and sedentary behavior are all up to "troubling levels," according to the report.
Sedentary behavior, which is defined as not doing any physical activity outside of work for the last 30 days, is at dangerous levels, affecting 26.2 percent of Americans.
The national median of obese adults is 27.8 percent or 66 million adults — more than the entire population of the United Kingdom. Even the thinnest state, Colorado, has one-fifth of its population obese.
Diabetes is also at epidemic proportion. The national median for adults with diabetes is 9.5 percent. This does not include cases of undiagnosed diabetes, which would increase this rate significantly.
Connecticut’s strengths include a low prevalence of smoking, a low incidence of infectious disease, a low rate of uninsured population and high immunization coverage while it's challenges are moderate high school graduation rate and moderate levels of air pollution.
Fast Facts From the Study
For the sixth year in a row, Vermont is the nation’s healthiest state. Rounding out the top spots are:
- Hawaii (2nd)
- New Hampshire (3rd)
- Minnesota (5th)
The five least healthy states are:
- South Carolina (46th)
- West Virginia (47th)
- Arkansas (48th)
- Mississippi and Louisiana (tied for the 49th slot)
States that showed the most substantial improvement in rankings include:
- New Jersey (nine slots)
- Maryland (five slots)
- Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Rhode Island (three slots)
See more on the results of the study at: www.facebook.com/AmericasHealthRankings