Leading the pack of healthiest states are Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Utah and CT in the top five, with West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and MS at the bottom, according to America's Health Rankings by the United Health Foundation.
This is the first run through MA has been named the most advantageous state, finishing Hawaii's five-year rule. The least healthy state was MS (50), followed by Louisiana (49), Arkansas (48), Alabama (47), and West Virginia (46).
The annual report looks at dozens of measures to rank the healthiest states in the nation.
A new survey has ranked MA as the the healthiest state in the United States.
The 2017 report analyzed 35 measures covering behaviors, community and environment, policy, clinical care, and outcomes data.
This is the first time MA has been named the healthiest state, ending Hawaii's five-year reign.
"Results show the US has a higher infant mortality rate, a higher prevalence of obesity and a lower life expectancy at birth compared with most OECD member countries", the report says.
This latest report shows that the nation's health overall is getting worse.
"We don't have a framework with everyone in", said Dr. Georges Benjamin, official executive of the American Public Health Association, which was not engaged with the new report. The improvements in Florida saw positive changes in the frequency of mental distress and the percentage of children living in poverty past year. The southwestern state improved its standing by reducing air pollution and increasing immunization among children.
MA did rank in the bottom 10 for drug deaths, however, with 19.8 drug deaths per 100,000 people. The state's rankings for smoking, Salmonella, and immunizations for children all declined since 2016. "We're failing in our fundamental task to be a healthier nation".
Meanwhile, Louisiana saw huge drops in cardiovascular deaths and cancer rates, despite ranking second-least-healthy and seeing huge increases in drug deaths.
"This year's findings demonstrate that our focus on improving health outcomes is making a real difference in the lives of MA families and communities", said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders.
In the past 10 years, drug deaths increased 98% from 5.0 to 9.9 deaths per 100,000 population.
MA for example, boasts 547.3 mental health providers per 100,000 people, compared to 47th ranked Alabama with 85 per 100,000.