The Health of Pennsylvania–Where do we stand?Jan 1st, 2012 | By Sanjay Paul | Category: Features, Front Page, Lead Article
Here are some findings from 2011 America’s Heath Rankings by United Health Group, a leading health care company.
Vermont is the healthiest state in the nation. Their strengths are: a high rate of high school graduation, a low violent crime rate, a low rate of infectious disease, a high usage of early prenatal care, high per capita public health funding, a low rate of uninsured population and ready availability of primary care physicians.
Pennsylvania is ranked 26th. Our strengths and challenges are as follows:
• Low rate of uninsured population (11% lack health insurance; MA is lowest in country, with 5% uninsured.)
• High rate of high school graduation
• Ready availability of primary care physicians (128 per 100,000 of population)
• High levels of air pollution
• Low per capita public health funding
• High prevalence of diabetes
Across the country, and in PA, fewer smokers, but more obese people. Here’s a comparison of PA with the US on two issues (in the figures that follow, the darker line corresponds to PA, the lighter one to the country):
Fewer people are smoking …
No. of smokers as percent of population fell from about 30% in 1990 to 18% in 2011.
…but obesity has risen sharply.
Obesity rates in PA have risen from about 12% in 1990 to 30% in 2011.
Smokers will find it more difficult to get a job. Smoking rates may decline further if other companies follow in Geisenger’s steps: “Geisinger will stop hiring smokers,” http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2826547/posts