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New York health rankings improve, according to national report

New York ranked 14th nationwide this year in overall health, according to a report released Wednesday by America's Health Rankings.

The annual report published by the United Health Foundation, a nonprofit established by UnitedHealth Group, said New York had climbed from the 40th spot when the report started in 1990 and was up from 15th place last year. The report used 2010-2013 data.

The state Department of Health also announced Wednesday that it won the Champion Award from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the United Health Foundation. The award honors state health departments that have used data from the reports to develop programs.

Acting state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said the rankings provided the "core data . . . and benchmarks" for New York's Prevention Agenda 2013-2017, a blueprint to improve health and reduce health disparities.

New York ranked in the top 10 on a third of the report's 30 measures, including access to primary care physicians and dentists (ranked fifth and fourth, respectively); low number of occupational deaths (fourth); and decreases in cancer and premature deaths (10th and seventh, respectively).

Per capita public health funding rose from $129 per person on average in 2013 to $149 per person, according to the report -- moving New York up from fifth to third.

New York ranked 11th on smoking and ninth on obesity, although its obesity rate rose 8 percent last year, from 23.6 percent of adults to 25.4 percent.

The state ranked lowest in rates of chlamydia (40th); pertussis (34th); binge drinking (34th) and diabetes (33rd). It ranked 45th in disparity in health status, which measures the difference in health in adults without a high school education versus those with a high school education or more.

For the third year in a row, Hawaii was ranked the healthiest state, followed by Vermont. Also for the third straight year, Mississippi ranked 50th.

To see the report, visit americashealthrankings.org- /reports/Annual.

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