State ranks 39th in United Health Foundation survey

Crime, diabetes, lifestyle contribute to position

The good news is Tennessee ranks two spots better than last year. The bad news is we’re 39th.

According to a survey compiled by the United Health Foundation, dubbed America’s Health Rankings, the Volunteer State has moved two spots up from the 41st  position last year, portending bad things for the state’s populace if changes, primarily related to lifestyle, aren’t soon made.

“America’s Health Rankings from United Health Foundation is an incredibly valuable tool for us to clearly understand health trends facing us as a nation and here in Tennessee,” Dr. Janice Huckaby, medical director of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee, said in a statement released today.

Briefly, Tennessee’s strengths include a low prevalence of binge drinking, moderate (good compared to others) availability of primary care physicians and higher per-capita public health spending than most states, ranking 21st at $83 per person. The state’s challenges include a significant number of citizens living a sedentary lifestyle, a prevalence of diabetes and a high violent crime rate (with Tennessee ranking 47th at 613 offenses per 100,000 folks).

The survey is exhaustive and contains a variety of state-specific health-related facts culled from a variety of sources. Click here for the entire survey, which requires only email registration to access.