U.S. fails to improve on health, yet again

Apparently America is one unhealthy place to live. An annual ranking from the United Health Foundation found that the health of Americans did not improve for the fourth straight year. The main culprits for the country's overall decline in health are tobacco smoking, obesity and a rising uninsured rate, according to Reed Tuckson, a board member of the United Health Foundation. Furthermore, Tuckson believes that America's floundering economy could spell even more bad news.

Comparisons to other nations do not paint a pretty picture. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, revealed in a conference call that 27 other "industrialized nations" have a higher life expectancy than the U.S., while 38 other nations boast a lower infant mortality rate. Air pollution and geographic disparity are among the 22 different measures looked at by America's Health Rankings.

In state-by-state rankings, Vermont, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Utah were the five healthiest, respectively. Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana ranked Nos. 46 through 50 on the list.

For more:
- check out this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)