Indiana slips in health ranking

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Indiana fell two rungs in an annual ranking of the health of state populations.

The Hoosier state came in 34th in a report released today by UnitedHealth Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the Partnership for Prevention.

Indiana struggles for well-known reasons. Its smoking rate is sixth-highest, at 24.1 percent. Air pollution and preventable hospitalizations are high. The rate of childhood immunizations is low and funding for public health ranks dead last.

Also, the percentage of children in poverty spiked this year to 18.8 percent, from 14.3 percent the year before and 11.3 percent five years ago.

On the good side, Indiana’s percentage of obese residents dropped slightly to 27.4 percent. That improved Indiana’s obesity rank to 30th from 41st a year ago. Also, Indiana’s rate of infectious diseases is lower than average.

Lastly, Indiana’s rate of uninsured has been falling, dropping to 11.6 percent this year. That ranks Indiana No. 16.

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