Indiana is among the least healthy states, according to a study that ranks states on health metrics including the percentage of smokers and obesity rates.
The America's Health Rankings 2017 annual report ranks Indiana 38th in the U.S. for overall health. Allen County doesn't fare much better, ranking 44th among Indiana's 92 counties, the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana announced Thursday.
The state moved up a spot from its 2016 ranking, the coalition of health care and business leaders said. Factors including an uptick in drug deaths and stagnant funding for public health have kept the rankings low, the alliance said. The organization is comprised of health care and business leaders from around the state.
Particularly poor is the number of smokers locally and throughout the state, alliance leaders said in a statement. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Indiana and costs the state $7.6 billion each year, they said.
“Beyond simply Hoosier health, these poor rankings directly correlate with the health of our economy,” said Brian Mills, CEO of Community Health Network and chair of the alliance. “An unhealthy workforce negatively impacts Indiana's ability to attract quality businesses, increases health care costs and harms Indiana's national reputation.”