Health Survey Shows Modest Gains for Nevada - 8 News NOW

Health Survey Shows Modest Gains for Nevada

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LAS VEGAS -- Nevada is gaining ground in an annual health ranking of the 50 states but remains closer to the bottom than the top of the list, a report released Tuesday shows.

The United Health Foundation ranked Nevada 38th this year, an improvement from 39th last year and 47th in 2010 based on a combination of personal health behaviors, community and environmental factors, state health policies and clinical care.

The foundation, based in Minnetonka, Minn., prepared the report in partnership with the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention. Some of the data came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vermont ranked at the top of the list while most of the states that scored poorly are in the southeast part of the country.

Nevada's strengths include a low prevalence of obesity and a low incidence of infectious disease. But its weaknesses, according to the report, include a low high school graduation rate, high violent crime rate, high rate of uninsured residents and low per-capita public health funding.

Despite its relatively low obesity rate, Nevada still has more than 500,000 obese adults. The percentage of children in poverty fell from 23.6 percent to 20.6 percent over the past year but remains considerably higher than in 2002, when it was only 8.7 percent.

In the past five years, the rate of preventable hospitalization in Nevada decreased from 65.3 to 58.1 discharges per 1,000 Medicare enrollees. The infant mortality rate also has dropped from 6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births 10 years ago to 5.6 deaths this year.

But the incidence of infectious disease increased from 4.8 to six cases per 100,000 residents in the past year, and the rate of uninsured in the state rose from 15.9 percent to 22 percent over the past 10 years.

Among other findings:

* Smoking remains more prevalent in Nevada than nationally across most racial and ethnic groups. Some 21.7 percent of non-Hispanic white residents in Nevada are smokers, compared to 17.8 percent nationwide, while 22.3 percent of non-Hispanic blacks, 19 percent of Hispanics and 20.9 percent of non-Hispanic Asian-Americans statewide also smoke. That compares with 19.6 percent, 14.4 percent and 8.5 percent nationally.

The exception is with non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaskan natives who reside in Nevada, where 24.1 percent are smokers compared to 33 percent nationally.

* Some 22.4 percent of non-Hispanic white Nevadans lead sedentary lifestyles, same as nationally. The same is true of 25.5 percent of non-Hispanic black Nevadans (compared to 30.9 percent nationally), 27.5 percent of Hispanics (30.6 percent nationally), 21.2 percent of non-Hispanic Asian-Americans (21.1 percent nationally), and 21.3 percent of non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaskan natives (28 percent nationally).

* Obesity exists among 24.4 percent of non-Hispanic white Nevadans (compared to 26.1 percent nationally), 30.4 percent of non-Hispanic black Nevadans (38.8 percent nationally), 23.4 percent of Hispanics (31 percent nationally), 16.6 percent non-Hispanic Asian-Americans (9.4 percent nationally), and 35.2 percent non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaskan natives (35.8 percent nationally).

 

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