NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Comparing Health Risks Among The States

March 24, 2000

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a survey of health behavior broken down by race and ethnic groups for the 50 states and Puerto Rico. The study is based on 1997 telephone interviews with 134,000 people.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Texas led the nation in the number of residents without health insurance -- primarily because 44.9 percent of Hispanics are not covered.
  • Georgia residents are the most sedentary in the nation, with 51 percent reporting no leisure time physical activity -- while Utah has the most active population, with only 17.2 percent of respondents reporting no activity.
  • Residents of Utah and Puerto Rico consume the least alcohol, while those in Wisconsin report consuming the most.
  • At only 6.3 percent, Maryland has the lowest rate of binge drinking in the nation -- defined as consuming five or more drinks on a single occasion.

Officials say the report is intended to help state health departments compare their prevention activities to those of other states in order to establish which are the most successful.

Source: Associated Press, "CDC Ranks States for Risk to Health," Washington Times, March 24, 2000.


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