Lifestyle

Annual Texas Health Ranking Shows Improvement and Shortcomings

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Although efforts to improve Texans’ health are cultivating some improvement, obesity, poor access to care, and lack of health insurance coverage continue to be areas of difficulty identified by an annual study which was released December 15. On the America’s Health Rankings report (evaluating states on various metrics), Texas ranked 33 in overall health. The report has been issued annually since 1989 by The United Health Foundation, a non-profit established by UnitedHealth, a health benefits provider.

Reductions in Opioid Overdose

Annual Texas Health Ranking Shows Both Signs of Improvement and Signs that It’s Needed

Photo: Pixabay

A one-point improvement over last year, this year’s rank far exceeds the ranking of 42 which Texas received back in 2011. And on a more positive note, the state performed above the national average on approximately 10 of the total 34 factors reviewed. As an example, Texas had a low rate of overdoses due to opioids, and recent studies have shown how the introduction of the 2010 state “pill mill” legislation led to medically significant reductions in opioid dose, pills dispensed, and number of prescriptions.

High Incidence of No Health Coverage

Annual Texas Health Ranking Shows Both Signs of Improvement and Signs that It’s Needed

Photo: Wikimedia

This latest report also found that more young women in Texas between the ages of thirteen and seventeen obtained the human papillomavirus vaccine, helping prevent cervical and HPV-related cancers. That being said, the America’s Health Rankings report also made note of some ongoing challenges. As an example, it’s estimated that 18% of the Texas population does not have health insurance, which is consistent with recent U.S. Census data. Although uninsured rates have been on the decline, compared to the national average, Texans maintain a higher percentage.

Obesity and Diabetes Rates High in Adult Population

Annual Texas Health Ranking Shows Both Signs of Improvement and Signs that It’s Needed
Photo: Pixabay

It was also recognized that one-third of adults in Texas are obese, and over 10 percent of the adult population has diabetes. Within the last year, the number of smokers went up by five percent, and the occurrence of chlamydia rose by sixteen percent. So, although there were some excellent improvements in health, there were also some shortcomings that the state needs to work on for better health and ultimately, better lifestyles.

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