Report places Hawaii above all US states in overall health

Published: Dec. 10, 2015 at 12:56 AM HST
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According to United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings Annual Report, Hawaii is the healthiest overall when compared to all US states.

The report shows that in 2015, Americans are making meaningful progress on key health metrics including smoking less and leading less sedentary lives nationwide.

However, the rate of deaths by illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse is rising. Obesity, diabetes and children in poverty also signal serious challenges ahead.

Even though Hawaii sits at the top of the list, the state has both strengths and challenges.

Hawaii's Strengths

-  Few poor mental health days

-  Low prevalence of obesity

-  Low rate of preventable hospitalizations

Hawaii's Challenges

-  High prevalence of excessive drinking

-  High incidence of Salmonella

-  Low immunization among adolescents for Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine

"Hawaii's top ranking as the healthiest state in the nation once again this year is very encouraging and reminds us of how fortunate we are to live in the Aloha State," said Gov. David Y. Ige.  "Even with this ranking, we cannot afford to be complacent and we must continue to invest in our public health efforts to ensure access to care and strengthen prevention measures."

"Hawaii ranks as the healthiest state but we need to remember that we are being compared to a nation that has been transformed over the last three decades with rising obesity and chronic disease rates.  State data also masks the equity gap between communities," said Virginia Pressler, MD, Director of the Hawaii Department of Health.  "We need to diligently increase collaboration that will achieve optimal health equity for all people in Hawaii."

To see the national and state rankings in detail, click here.

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