California ranked as the 23rd healthiest state in the nation in a report released Tuesday, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The ranking is one place higher than California's score last year.
The American Public Health Association, the Partnership for Prevention and the United Health Foundation prepared the report.
The report gave California high marks for certain measures, such as for:
- Obesity: California had the ninth lowest obesity rate at 24.2%, compared with a national average of 27%; and
- Tobacco: California had the second lowest rate of tobacco use at 14%, compared with a national average of 18.3%.
However, the report gave the state low marks for:
- Air pollution: California had the 47th worst rate in the country;
- Infectious diseases: California had the 43rd worst incidence of infectious diseases with 22.2 cases per 100,000 people; and
- Insurance coverage: California had the 44th worst score for insurance coverage, with an uninsured rate of 18.4%.
The report also projected that if obesity rates continue to rise at their current rate, California could shell out $40.69 billion in health care costs for obesity-related conditions by 2010, or nearly $1,350 per adult resident (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 11/17).
Premature Birth Rate
In related news, California received a "C" grade from a March of Dimes report card for premature births.
No state received an "A" grade, and Vermont was the only state to receive a "B" score. The country overall received a "D" grade.
The report found that California has a premature birth rate of 10.9% of live births, up from 10.7% in 2008. The average national premature birth rate is 12.7%.
The March of Dimes set a target premature birth rate at 7.6% (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 11/17).