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    Report: Vermont Is Healthiest State

    Louisiana Is Last on the 'America's Health Rankings 2008' List
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Dec. 3, 2008 -- Vermont is the healthiest state and Louisiana the unhealthiest, according to the "America's Health Rankings 2008" list.

    The list is a collaboration of the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the Partnership for Prevention.

    Here is the full list of the state rankings, from healthiest to least healthy:

    1. Vermont
    2. Hawaii
    3. New Hampshire
    4. Minnesota
    5. Utah
    6. Massachusetts
    7. Connecticut
    8. Idaho
    9. Maine
    10. Washington
    11. Rhode Island
    12. North Dakota
    13. Nebraska
    14. Wyoming
    15. Iowa
    16. Oregon
    17. Wisconsin
    18. New Jersey
    19. Colorado
    20. Virginia
    21. South Dakota
    22. Kansas
    23. Montana
    24. California
    25. New York
    26. Maryland
    27. Michigan
    28. Pennsylvania
    29. New Mexico
    30. Alaska
    31. Illinois
    32. Ohio
    33. Arizona
    34. Indiana
    35. Delaware
    36. North Carolina
    37. Kentucky
    38. Missouri
    39. West Virginia
    40. Alabama
    41. Georgia
    42. Nevada
    43. Arkansas
    44. Oklahoma
    45. Florida
    46. Texas
    47. Tennessee
    48. South Carolina
    49. Mississippi
    50. Louisiana

    Vermont was also the top-ranked state in 2007. During the past year, the states showing the biggest improvement in their overall health score were Arkansas, New Mexico, and Kentucky; Texas and Montana showed the least improvement.

    Americans' health on a national level didn't improve or worsen, holding steady for the past four years.The nation's biggest challenges include obesity, growing numbers of people without health insurance, and the persistence of risky behaviors such as tobacco use, according to the study.

    The rankings are based on four components:

    • Personal behaviors including smoking, binge drinking, and obesity.
    • Community and environmental factors such as rates of high school graduation, violent crime, occupational fatalities, and infectious disease.
    • Public and health policy factors such as immunization coverage, lack of health insurance, and public health funding.
    • Clinical care factors, such as adequacy of prenatal care, preventable hospitalizations, and primary care physicians.

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