Minnesota ranks fourth for health


A new study ranks Minnesota fourth in the nation for overall health, down two notches from its number-two spot in 2007.

Rankings in the 2008 America's Health Rankings report are based on analysis of 22 factors. The factors are a combination of health determinants -- personal behaviors, community and environment, public and health policies, and clinical care -- and health outcomes, such as infant mortality or death rates due to cardiovascular issues and cancer. The analysis was conducted by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and Partnership for Prevention.

Minnesota has the lowest rate of cardiovascular death in the nation and is fourth for percentage of uninsured people, at 8.8 percent of the state population.

  But spending for public health has also dropped in the past year, from $62 to $45 per person. With Minnesota's $5.2 billion debt, that number could potentially drop further.

Minnesotans have also gotten fatter. Since 1990, the prevalence of obesity increased from 10.2 percent to 26 percent of the population.

The overall health of the country has not improved since 2004, according a story from MedPage Today.