PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island is the 10th healthiest state in the nation, according to the recently-released America's Health Rankings®—2012 edition report. Rhode Island's status jumped three spots in the new rankings, up from 13th place last year.
According to the report, the state's strengths include its high immunization coverage and ready availability of primary care physicians.
"We applaud our partners and the primary care community for helping to make Rhode Island a healthy and safe place to live, learn, work, and play," said Michael Fine, MD, director of HEALTH. "We are pleased by these steps forward for Rhode Island's health, but we are also reminded of the work that will help us get to number one."
That work will include addressing Rhode Island's health challenges, which, according to the report, include a high prevalence of binge drinking and preventable hospitalizations. In addition, Rhode Islanders report many days of poor mental and physical health per month.
The state health rankings include statewide population health indicators, as well as information on health disparities among different groups. In Rhode Island, both obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, which is defined as not doing any physical activity outside of work for the last 30 days, are more prevalent among non-Hispanic blacks (35.7% and 35.2%, respectively) than non-Hispanic whites (24.7% and 23.3%). Smoking, meanwhile, is more prevalent among non-Hispanic whites than Hispanics. These data highlight the importance of involving communities in developing and implementing targeted efforts to improve public health.
America's Health Rankings® is the longest-running report of its kind. For 23 years, these rankings have provided an analysis of national health on a state-by-state basis, evaluating a historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental and socioeconomic data to determine national health benchmarks and state rankings. For more information, visit www.americashealthrankings.org
For specific data about public health in Rhode Island, visit www.health.ri.gov/data
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