|Updated: 12/06/2011 11:50 am
||Published: 12/06/2011 11:48 am
The United Health Foundation dropped Oklahoma two spots in its annual state health ranking scorecard. The Sooner state ranks 48th this year, down from 46 last year.
The foundation says the lower score is based on the high percentage of Oklahoma children in poverty, an increase in the number of Oklahoma adults with diabetes, a high prevalence of Oklahoma adults who are obese, and the continued prevalence of smoking among Oklahoma adults. Other contributors to the lower score were the limited availability of primary care physicians in the state, the low use of pregnant women seeking prenatal care during their first trimester, and the high number of poor mental health days reported by Oklahomans.
Oklahoma's got high scores for low incidence of infectious disease, a low prevalence of binge drinking, and percent of students who graduate from high school.
"We are disappointed, but not surprised by this report," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. "Through the legislatively-endorsed Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan and the Oklahoma Children's Health Plan, our state's public health system has marshaled its resources to address key health status indicators that prevent us from being a healthier state.”
Cline also noted two legislative proposals that are current recommendations of the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan: restoring the rights of local communities to pass tobacco use prevention policies that are stronger than state law, and educating Oklahoma's youth to lead a healthy lifestyle by providing health education classes for students in the sixth through eighth grades.