HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi’s overall health has improved one place in the United Health Foundation’s 2018 America’s Health Rankings Annual Report.
Mississippi was ranked 49th out of 50 states in 2018, with Louisiana taking over the 50th place in the rankings this year.
Mississippi’s strengths include low prevalence of excessive drinking, high Tdap immunization coverage among adolescents and a low drug death rate.
Challenges for the state revealed in the report include high cardiovascular death rate, high prevalence of obesity and high prevalence of low birthweight.
Other highlights of the report include:
- Mississippi has increased its high school graduation rate by 10 percent over the past five years.
- Smoking rates have decreased by 8 percent over the past five years.
- Immunizations among children has decreased 11 percent the past five years.
- Primary care physicians increased 6 percent in the past two years.
- Cancer deaths have increased 11 percent since 1990.
Overall, the annual ranking showed that the nation has reached the highest-ever level obesity rate, with the rate exceeding 30 percent of the adult population for the first time in the rankings.
Suicide rates have also increased by 16 percent since 2012.
Positives signs revealed in the report include a decrease in childhood poverty rates and an increase in the number of mental health providers.