State of the States

Health in the US improved overall from 1990-2016, but wide disparities from state to state show a need for better preventive care, according to a new study coordinated by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

The probability of dying between ages 20-55 dropped in 31 states and Washington, DC; but in 5 states it jumped 10%. The burdens of drug use disorders, high BMI, and alcohol use disorders are commanding more attention. Opioids were the 11th leading cause of disability adjusted life years in 1990, and the 7th in 2016.

Given states’ considerable role in health policies such as Medicaid, the researchers recommend robust monitoring of state-level disease burdens and health trends.


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