Washington is 7th healthiest states in the US

SEATTLE -- Washington ranks as the 7th healthiest state in the nation this year, moving up two spots from last year, and leading the way for the Pacific Northwest, according to the annual “America’s Health Rankings” from the United Health Foundation.

A low prevalence of smoking, high immunization coverage among children and a low prevalence of low birth weight have helped Washington rise in the ranks, but key health indicators – like excessive drinking and low immunization coverage among adolescents - remain high.

For all states, rankings are based on four determinants that directly influence health outcomes: behaviors, community and environment, policy, and clinical care. Washington scored five out of five stars in clinical care and outcomes.

While there is always room for improvement, Washington ranks in the top three (out of all states) for positive indicators of health such as physical inactivity, occupational fatalities and infant mortality.

Other areas to watch that indicate a positive trend for the health of Washington include a 14 percent increase in immunizations among children aged 19 to 35 months, a six percent decrease in adult diabetes, and an eight percent decrease in meningococcal immunization among adolescents aged 13 to 17 years, all three occurring over the last year.

Additionally, over the last two years the percentage of the population without health insurance decreased 43 percent in Washington and over the past four years drug deaths have decreased 13 percent; these are two more indicators of the progress in Washington’s health.

For more information and the full report click here.