The 5 healthiest and unhealthiest states in America

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Although Americans made substantial improvements on some key health indicators in the past year, the country still faces significant health challenges, according to United Health Foundation's 27th annual America's Health Rankings.

"We have made important strides across the country against public health challenges; however, we are at a crossroads between a healthier future as a nation and a future in which troubling public health measurements become increasingly common," said Reed Tuckson, MD, external senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation.

Dr. Tuckson said the cardiovascular death rate is of particular concern. For the first time in the rankings' 27-year history, the cardiovascular death rate increased in the past year.

Obesity was another major health challenge highlighted in the report. The prevalence of obesity among adults has increased 157 percent since 1990.

The report also noted long-term improvements the country has made across key health indicators. Since 1990, smoking among adults has fallen by 41 percent. Over the past 10 years, preventable hospitalizations have decreased by 35 percent, including a 13 percent decline in the past year, according to the report.

America's Health Rankings analyzes 34 measures of behaviors, community and environment, policies and clinical care data to provide a holistic view of the nation's health. Based on those measures, the following are the five healthiest states in the U.S.

1. Hawaii

2. Massachusetts

3. Connecticut

4. Minnesota

5. Vermont

The following are the five unhealthiest states.

50. Mississippi

49. Louisiana

48. Arkansas

47. Alabama

46. Oklahoma

To see how each state ranked overall and on specific health measures, access the full report here.

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