BLOOMINGTON -- Indiana ranks 41st out of all 50 states for overall health.
UnitedHealthcare of Indiana Medical Director Dr. Julie Daftari says even though the state’s ranking is unchanged from last year, Indiana still had several victories.
“Hoosiers are more active than they were last year, and we’ve also seen a reduction in diabetes. These are big wins for the state,” she says.
The report also identifies strengths in the state’s high school graduation rate and low incidences of Salmonella.
But Indiana is still lagging in terms of public health care funding — the state ranks 48th in that area — and it has high rates of both smoking and air pollution.
Daftari says the state is also struggling to provide access to health care services, and she adds that despite the implementation of HIP 2.0 earlier this year, it might be awhile before those effects are reflected in the state’s ranking.
She says she hopes Hoosiers will take the data to heart.
“I think we need to increase awareness about the health challenges that our community faces,” Daftari says. “[I]t’s important to realize this is not an individual effort. This is going to take an effort from an entire community and the state as a whole,” she says.
North Carolina shows the biggest improvement, the report says. The state jumped from 37th to 31st.
Hawaii ranked first for the fourth consecutive year, and Louisiana ranked last.