Michigan Ranks 37th in National Health Study

The new report says the state has a high number of smokers and a high prevalence of obesity.

Michigan ranked as the 37th healthiest state in the country in 2012, in part because of the high number of smokers here as well as a low number of people with immunization coverage. And, when it comes to obesity, the state was near the bottom, ranking 46th, according to a new report by the United Health Foundation.

The study, “America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for Individuals & Their Communities,” has been produced each year by the group for the last 22 years. It provides a “unique, comprehensive perspective on how the nation - and each state - measures up.”

The study did note a few several healthy habits or conditions here in Michigan including:

  • Low prevalence of sedentary lifestyle
  • Low rate of uninsured population
  • Low occupational fatalities rate

The study also found that “obesity is more prevalent among non-Hispanic blacks at 42.1 percent than non-Hispanic whites at 29.2 percent; and sedentary lifestyle is more prevalent among non-Hispanic blacks at 29.6 percent than non-Hispanic whites at 22.7 percent.”

Percentage of kids in poverty is rising in Great Lakes State

Michigan this year slipped from the 33th healthiest state in the union in 2011 to the 37th, the report found. The study includes the following highlights about the state of Michigan's health:

  • In the past 10 years, the percentage of children in poverty increased from 12.4 percent to 22.7 percent of persons under age 18.
  • Although Michigan has one of the lower rates of sedentary lifestyle in the U.S., more than 1.7 million adults live a sedentary lifestyle and almost 2.4 million adults are obese in the state.
  • Last year, 92.9 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months received immunizations; today it is 87.0 percent.
  • In the past 5 years, air pollution decreased from 12.9 to 9.5 micrograms of fine particulate per cubic meter.
  • In the past 5 years, the rate of preventable hospitalizations decreased from 77.6 to 69.8 discharges per 1,000 Medicare enrollees.

Coming in first in the organization’s health rankings was Vermont, while Louisiana and Mississippi tied for last place, in part because of high obesity rates and low birth rates among its residents.

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