(UNDATED) - Indiana ranks 37th in the country in overall health among seniors -- a ranking that takes into account such things as obesity, smoking and physical inactivity.
Last year's report ranked Indiana 32nd. Among all 50 states, Minnesota is the healthiest state for seniors for the second year in a row. Hawaii ranks second, followed by New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. Mississippi retains last year's ranking as the least healthy state for seniors, followed by Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The rankings, collected by the United Health Foundation in its "America's Health Rankings Senior Report," shows that Indiana has 247,000 obese seniors, ranking it 45th (with No. 1 being the best); and that 34.8 percent of its seniors are physically inactive, earning Indiana a 42nd ranking in that category.
The 2013 Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults found that 82 percent of older residents rated the fitness opportunities in Area 10 -- things such as exercise classes and hiking paths -- as either "good" or "positive;" and 65 percent rated their own physical health as "good" or "excellent."
But the America's Health Rankings Senior Report shows that income plays a key role in the health of seniors -- while 62.7 percent of Indiana's seniors with annual incomes greater than $75,000 said their health was "very good" or "excellent," only 25.5 percent of seniors with incomes less than $25,000 rated their health that highly.
The Senior Report showed that 11.5 percent of Indiana adults 65 or older -- 97,000 older adults -- are smokers, earning the state a No. 44 ranking in that category.
The report did uncover some good news for Hoosier seniors. Indiana ranks seventh nationally in two categories, with only 7.1 percent of seniors living in poverty and 2.3 percent of seniors engaging in chronic drinking.
To see the rankings in full, visit www.americashealthrankings.org/senior.
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