Americans are living longer due to medical advances, but longevity comes with a price: more sickness, according to a new report.
The 2012 America’s Health Rankings show that so-called “lifestyle diseases” of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure plague more people even while medical advances allow more to live with those conditions.
Americans “are living longer, sicker” with more chronic illness, according to Reed Tuckson, M.D., of the United Health Foundation, the not-for-profit group that sponsors the report.
Heart and cancer deaths have decline since 1990, but Americans are experience disturbing levels of obesity (28 percent of the adult population), diabetes (10 percent of adults), and high blood pressure (31 percent).
For the sixth year in a row, Vermont was listed as the healthiest state. Louisiana and Mississippi were tied for the least healthy.
The report highlighted unhealthy sedentary behavior, which is defined as not doing any physical exercise outside of work for the last 30 days. About 26 percent of Americans fall into this category. “High prevalence of sedentary behavior, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension means that a freight train of preventable chronic illnesses is going to crash into our healthcare system unless we take action now,” said Dr. Tuckson.
Here are the report’s state health rankings, from most healthy to least healthy:
3. New Hampshire
8. New Jersey
10. Rhode Island
12. North Dakota
18. New York
27. South Dakota
32. New Mexico
33. North Carolina
46. South Carolina
47. West Virginia
50. Mississippi (tie with Louisiana)