|Updated: 12/11/2012 10:51 am
||Published: 12/11/2012 10:51 am
The United Health Foundation says Oklahoma has improved its state health ranking in the annual "America's Health Rankings" scorecard.
For overall health, Oklahoma is ranked 43rd in 2012. Over the last several years, Oklahoma's ranking has ranged from 46th to 49th.
"Today's rankings show that our efforts to increase access to health care, reduce infant mortality and promote healthy living in schools and workplaces are working. Oklahoma is moving in the right direction, getting people better care with better outcomes," said Gov. Mary Fallin. "Health is such an important issue in Oklahoma because it affects both our quality of life and our economy. For families, poor health can mean personal tragedy and medical bills that break the bank. For businesses, it means lower workforce productivity. That's why it's so important to continue this forward momentum. My thanks go out to all the Oklahomans who are working hard to get in shape, eat right, quit smoking, or teaching healthy living habits to their children. These are the kind of choices and behaviors that will ultimately make the most difference as we work together to improve the health of our state."
"This year's report marks a significant and dramatic improvement that we don't take lightly," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. "We recognize and support opportunities occurring within communities, businesses; organizations, faith-based groups and others in the private sector that help make the healthy choice the easy choice and ultimately improve the health status of all Oklahomans."
Health indicators scoring strongly for Oklahoma were improvements in the infant mortality rate, up-to-date immunization coverage for children 19 months to 35 months, a low incidence of infectious disease cases, an improvement in the percent of persons without health insurance, and an improvement in the percent of children under age 18 living in poverty.
Officials say there is still a high prevalence of smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diabetes, limited availability of primary care physicians, and a high rate of cardiovascular disease deaths that continue to be health challenges for the state.