Vermont Achieves #1 Ranking as Healthiest State in the Country (Again!)

The United Health Foundation’s (UHF) ranking of each state’s overall health based upon a detailed accumulation of factors and risks has named Vermont as the #1 healthiest state in the country for 2012. Vermont achieves the top ranking four years running having earned the honor in 2011, 2010, 2009. Vermont’s Governor, Peter Shumlin said at a recent press conference in the state capital “We are doing well compared to the other 49 states, but we are not doing well enough.”

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The rankings derived from 15 different “determinants” and eight different “outcomes” that United Health Foundation takes into account. Determinants include people’s behavior (the percent of people who smoke, for example), environmental factors (such as violent crime rate), policies (such as the rate of health insurance coverage), and clinical care factors (for instance, the number of preventable hospitalizations). Outcomes include cancer deaths, infant mortality rates, cardiovascular deaths, and the percent of the adult population with diabetes, among others.

The study found that relative to the rest of the nation, Vermont has a very low percentage of people leading sedentary lifestyles, a high rate of health insurance coverage, low rates of infectious diseases, and a low rate of low birth weights.

A detailed analysis from the UHF can be found here.

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