Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The 20th Anniversary Edition of America’s Health Rankings notes a worrisome escalation in preventable diseases that will significantly increase costs in an already unaffordable medical care delivery system. Of the $2.4 trillion of annual health care expenditures in the United States, $1.8 trillion is associated with the treatment of chronic disease, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Obesity has increased nearly 130 percent since the first edition of America’s Health Rankings was issued 20 years ago. Currently, 27 percent of the population is obese. A supplemental analysis to this year’s report shows America now spends $80 billion in direct health care costs associated with obesity. Left unchecked, 43 percent of adults will be obese and obesity will add nearly $344 billion in 2018 alone to the nation’s annual direct health care costs, accounting for more than 21 percent of health care spending.

America’s Health Rankings  is an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state analysis. It is published jointly by United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention. The data in the report comes from validated outside sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report is reviewed and overseen by a Scientific Advisory Committee, with members from leading academic institutions, government agencies and the private sector.

The 2009 Anniversary Edition shows Vermont as the healthiest state this year, while Mississippi is ranked 50th. Over the past 20 years, New York has demonstrated the most improvement in the overall health of its population.


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