25 least healthy cities in America

In some of the least healthy cities in the U.S., average life expectancy is as low as it was 40 years ago.

That finding comes from 24/7 Wall St., which created an index modeled after analysis conducted by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps — a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program — to identify the least healthy U.S. cities. The index rankings are based on overall health outcomes, a weighted composite of length of life, quality of life and overall health factors of all U.S. metropolitan statistical areas.

The study revealed many of the least healthy cities have a large share of uninsured residents. "Those without insurance are often diagnosed at later, less treatable disease stages than those with insurance and, overall, have worse health outcomes, lower quality of life and higher mortality rates," Amanda Jovaag, data lead at health advocacy group County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, told 24/7 Wall St.

The study also showed those who live in rural cities tend to be less healthy than those who live in urban areas. Factors such as access to clinical care and healthy foods contribute to differences in health outcomes between rural and urban cities.

Many of the least healthy cities are also disproportionately affected by injury deaths, a leading cause of which is drug overdose. For the first time in a decade, the death rate in the U.S. rose in 2015. Preliminary data shows the spike was partially driven by an increasing number of people dying from drug overdoses.

Here are the 25 least healthy cities in the U.S., according to 24/7 Wall St.

1. Beckley, W.Va

2. Pine Bluff, Ark.

3. Hammond, La.

4. Mobile, Ala.

5. Albany, Ga.

6. Monroe, La.

7. Florence, S.C.

8. Gadsden, Ala.

9. Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

10. Macon, Ga.

11. Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, Ala.

12. Alexandria, La.

13. Charleston, W.Va.

14. Morristown, Tenn.

15. Montgomery, Ala.

16. Memphis, Tenn.

17. Hot Springs, Ark.

18. Fort Smith, Ark.

19. Jackson, Miss.

20. Weirton, W.Va./Steubenville, Ohio

21. Tuscaloosa, Ala.

22. Huntington, W.Va./Ashland, Ky.

23. Jonesboro, Ark.

24. Farmington, N.M.

25. Rocky Mount, N.C.

More articles on population health:

American Lung Association ranks cities with worst air quality, pollution
5 ways New York improved health for aging population using WHO model
Obesity rates up in US women, stable in men



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