||Last Updated: Dec 5th, 2006 - 16:48:10
For the fourth straight year, Minnesota has taken first place in state health rankings in the annual United Health Foundation report, which also found Americans 0.3 percent healthier in 2006 than they were last year.
Minnesota has taken top spot in 11 of the 17 years of the survey by the United Health Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit foundation funded by the UnitedHealth Group health care company.
The report's rankings are based on a number of factors including access to care, incidence of preventable disease, smoking rates, child poverty rates, and motor vehicle deaths, the Associated Press reported.
Minnesota took top spot due to its low rates of: uninsured (8.4 percent); children in poverty (10 percent); infant mortality (5.1 deaths per 1,000 live births). The other states in the top five were Vermont, New Hampshire, Hawaii and Connecticut.
Louisiana was rated the least-healthy state. Others in the bottom five were Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas, the AP said.
The report also listed states with the largest improvements and declines in overall health since last year. The states with the most improvement were Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Kansas. Those with the worst declines were New Mexico, Idaho and West Virginia.
From 1990 to 2006, the percentage of uninsured Americans increased from 13.4 percent to 15.9 percent, the report said.
Last Updated: Dec. 5, 2006
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