Report shows Washington as ninth healthiest state

Disease rates are low, heart health is improving and workplace safety is relatively high in Washington State, according to a report released Dec. 10 by the United Health Foundation.

Disease rates are low, heart health is improving and workplace safety is relatively high in Washington State, according to a report released Dec. 10 by the United Health Foundation.

In their annual report entitled ‘America’s Health Rankings,’ the organization provides detailed statistics on health concerns in every state.

Washington State moved up four slots from 2014, ranking as the ninth-healthiest state nationwide, with Hawaii topping the list, and Louisiana coming in last.

Nationwide, adult smoking decreased from 19 to 18.1 percent of the population, and dropped from 16.1 to 15.3 percent in Washington.

People were more active this year too, with national inactivity rates dropping from 25.3 to 22.6 percent of the population. State figures show a decrease in inactivity from 20 to 18.1 percent with the highest rates of inactivity being in people who didn’t finish high school, seniors and those earning under $25,000 a year.

Drug related deaths are down in the state from the five-year high of 15.9 deaths per 100,000 in 2012, but still remain at 14.1 deaths per 100,000, higher than the national average of 13.5 deaths per 100,000.

More people are hitting the bottle in 2015 with 18.8 percent of adults reporting excessive drinking, which includes binge and dependent drinking patterns, up from 18.4 percent last year.

Another area the state is lagging child immunizations, with only 67.4 percent of Washingtonian children receiving vaccines, compared with the highest state at 84.7 percent.

Childhood poverty has increased from 11.8 percent in 1990 to 16.8 percent in 2015 statewide, nationally the number rose from 19.9 to 21.1 percent of children living in poverty.

Washington had the sixth-lowest combined numbers of chlamydia, salmonella and pertussis ranking 13th for chlamydia, 30th for pertussis but 4th lowest for salmonella cases per 100,000.

Washington was the third-safest state for workers, with only 2.6 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2015.

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