© 2022 90.5 WESA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health, Science & Tech

Pennsylvania's Heath Ranking Remains Steady

Pennsylvania’s health ranking has stayed steady over the past quarter century. So says a report from The United Health Foundation and the American Public Health Association.

The rankings are done with the purpose of providing a better understanding of health of people and communities across the country and states.

In 2014, Pennsylvania moved up a place to the 28th healthiest state. The state has seen some improvements over the years, such as more students graduating high school and higher immunization rates. And smoking has declined.

“Smoking among the individuals of Pennsylvania has dropped fairly significantly from about 20 percent down to 21 percent,” said Jerry Frank, the Chief Medical Officer for United Healthcare, Community and State plans in Pennsylvania

There are also some serious challenges. To the east, New York and New Jersey moved up dramatically in rank. But to the west, Ohio and West Virginia continually rank low.

“We have really in the state two different regions. The western part of the state has shown really some changes that are more reflective of neighboring Ohio that went from the 27th healthiest state all the way down to the 40th. And West Virginia continues to rank among the least healthy states,” said Frank.

While life expectancy is up, so too are the obesity rate, drug deaths and pollution rates.

Listener contributions are WESA’s largest source of income. Your support funds important journalism by WESA and NPR reporters. Please give now — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a difference.