Indiana among most unhealthy states in U.S., America's Health Rankings report says

High smoking, obesity rates hurt Ind. ranking

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana ranks among America's most unhealthy states in an annual study.

America's Health Rankings lists Indiana 41st in its annual review, which was released Tuesday.

The report is published by the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.

Obesity, sedentary habits, high smoking rates, low public health funding and the second-to-worst air pollution in the United States contributed to Indiana's low rank.

"I think in some ways, they confirm much of what we've known," said Jerry King, Indiana Public Health Association executive director. "The smoking and obesity and the numbers about sedentary lifestyle don't exactly come as a surprise to us."

There were a few bright spots, though: Indiana fared better than other states when it came to binge drinking and the number of people who don't have health insurance.

Here are the low points for Indiana:

• Indiana ranked 44th in smoking.

• Indiana ranked 42nd in obesity.

• Indiana ranked 42nd in sedentary lifestyle.

• Indiana ranked 42nd in physical activity.

• Indiana ranked 45th in heart attacks.

• Indiana ranked 49th in air pollution.

• Indiana ranked 41st in preventable hospitalizations.

The report also cited Indiana's low per capita public health funding.

Indiana has more than 500,000 adults with diabetes, the report found, and more than 1.5 million residents in Indiana are obese.

The report said the rate of preventable hospitalizations decreased significantly over the past five years, but the percentage of children living in poverty increased from 10.8 percent to 23.6 percent over the past 10 years.

King said adding more staff to public health departments could help Hoosiers become better educated and healthier.

Vermont was the healthiest state for the sixth-straight year. Mississippi and Louisiana tied for last place.

Print this article Back to Top