New Report Ranks Arkansas as 48th Healthiest State

LITTLE ROCK, AR - In a ranking of states by healthiest, Arkansas ranks near the bottom at 48th.  That's from a 2007 report of the United Health Foundation.

The nonprofit group said the healthiest state was Vermont, followed by Minnesota, Hawaii, New Hampshire and Connecticut.  The bottom five were Tennessee at 46th, followed by Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The annual report said Arkansas' strengths included a low prevalence of binge drinking and a moderate rate of high school graduation.  Weaknesses include a high percentage of children in poverty, a high premature death rate, a high rate of cancer deaths, and low immunization coverage.

The report is produced by the foundation in partnership with the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention.  Twenty health measures are analyzed including smoking, binge drinking, violent crime, infectious disease, high school graduation, and mortality.  Researchers also look at environment and decisions made by public officials.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)