Minnesota is Healthiest State for Seniors: Analysis

Thursday, 22 May 2014 04:07 PM

By Nick Tate

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Move over, Florida and Hawaii. A new report suggests the top retirement state for seniors is Minnesota — a least when it comes to health.
 
The "America's Health Rankings Senior Report" rated Minnesota the healthiest state in the nation for adults aged 65 and older. Florida, by comparison, placed 28th, Kaiser Health News reports.
 
The report grades states on 34 measures ranging from physical activity to prescription drug coverage to flu vaccinations. New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts round out the top five states. The report ranked Mississippi the least healthy for seniors preceded by Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
 
Among the factors cited in the ranking: Volunteering, which plays a major role in senior health and vitality. Minnesotans engage in more volunteering efforts than most states, said Reed Tuckson, M.D., senior medical adviser to the UnitedHealth foundation, which funds the annual rankings.
 
"There's a much better chance to be active, to be engaged, to be alive, to feel excited, to be inspired," he said, "and therefore to have a good mental attitude."
 
Dr. Tuckson said Minnesota stands out in a number of other key indicators beyond volunteering. Seniors in the state have the lowest prevalence of cognitive problems, and they visit the dentist often.
 
The research is designed to identify the major health problems that will arise as the senior population balloons due to the aging of baby boom generation.

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