JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri has improved in their overall health ranking for 2018, according to a report released by the United Health Foundation.
In 2017, Missouri was ranked 40th in the foundations annual America’s Health Rankings. In 2018, the state bumped up to slots to 38th.
Over the 29 years the report has been published, Missouri’s ranking has fluctuated. In 1990 Missouri was ranked 24th, while in 2000 the state was ranked 36th. In the last five years, Missouri’s ranking has been between 36th and 40th.
The annual assessment factors in 4 determinants of health categories, as well as health outcomes. The four determinants are: Behaviors, Community and Environment, Policy and Clinical care.
“The increase in Missouri’s health ranking is a testament to the work of many partners throughout Missouri,” said Dr. Randall Williams, Department of Health and Senior Services Director. “While this is a good step forward, there is still work to be done. We are excited to work with Governor Parson and many of our other partners throughout the state to build upon the work and conversations started during healthcare week earlier this month.”
Major factors in Missouri’s ranking includes moving from 37th to 19th for percentage of adults with diabetes per 100,000 population and being ranked 21st in the number of children aged 19 to 35 months immunized.
Overall national trends which are concerning are the increase in drug deaths and premature deaths throughout the United States. Concerning for Missouri are the 48th rank for adolescents receiving immunizations and the 40th rank for percent of adults who smoke.
“We know prevention messaging can make a difference, since this year we have given 100,000 more flu shots than we had by this time last year in part due to a campaign launched in collaboration with the Governor and First Lady,” said Williams. “I believe this campaign is saving lives.”