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Michiganders have some work to do to improve their health

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A new report gives Michigan mixed grades on the state of people’s health.

The United Health Foundationranks Michigan near the middle of its annual report. The state ranks 34th overall.

Hawaii topped the rankings, while Mississippi sits on the bottom.

Michigan’s health scores are also weighed down by high rates of obesity and binge drinking. However, the state gets good marks for high teen immunization coverage and ready access to dentists.

Rhonda Randall is the chief medical officer at United Healthcare. She says Michigan could be healthier if more Michiganders graduated from high school.

“Individuals who have a higher degree of education, finishing high school going on to college, have better overall health,” says Randall.

Other highlights in the report:

  • In the past year, smoking decreased by 8%  from 23.3%  to 21.4% of adults. In 1990, 34% percent of Michigan adults smoked.
  • In the past year, preventable hospitalizations decreased by 8%  from 70.3 to 64.5  per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries.
  •  In the past two years, immunization coverage among adolescents increased by 14% from 60.2% to 68.7% of adolescents aged 13 to 17 years.
  •  In the past five years, air pollution decreased by 27%  from 12.1 to 8.8 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter.
  •  Since 1990, violent crime decreased by 42 percent from 780 to 455 offenses per 100,000 population.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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