Texas Slips in Annual 'America's Health Rankings'

Texas is doing a much better job in reducing, smoking and deaths due to illegal drug use, and our high school graduation rate is now the fourth best in the country, but we still score poorly on United HealthCare's annual America's Health  Rankings for 2017, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Texas fell one point to 34th out of the fifty states.  Massachusetts is the healthiest state in the USA, Mississippi is the worst.

Texas is dragged down by a number of factors.  Our rate of excessive drinking is just under 20%, up substantially in the past six years, meaning one in every five Texans drinks to excess.

Out obesity rate remains among the highest in the nation, with more than one third of us considered to be obese.

"Obesity rates have increased 11% over the last five years, that's definitely another challenge for Texans and the state," Dustin Clark of United HealthCare told News Radio 1200 WOAI.

One area where Texas ranks very low is in availability of physicians.  We rank 42th in the category of 'clinical care,' with one of the lowest levels of mental health professionals per capita in the country, and also lower than average numbers of primary care physicians and dentists.

We also get low marks for our violent crime rate, high rates of pollution in the atmosphere, and very high rates of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HPV.

Texas has one of the lowest death rates from cancer in the country, and we also rank very will in low levels of 'frequent physical distress.'

But that is offset by very high rates of diabetes, cardiovascular death, and our disparities in health outcomes, meaning people with higher incomes have better health, are very high.

Texas also has the highest rate of uninsured people in the USA.  Texas ranks 34th best state in the country for health outcomes.

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