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Nevada drops to 37th in health care firm’s annual ranking

Updated December 12, 2017 - 12:01 am

Nevada ranked 37th in the nation this year in health, dropping two rungs from last year in an annual ranking by a health care company.

A UnitedHealthcare annual report showed that Nevada’s greatest challenges include high rates of violent crime rate and the uninsured and a dearth in primary care.

It also ranked last among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in public health funding, at $41 per person, compared with $296 per person in the No. 1 state for such funding, West Virginia.

The score comes out of the company’s nonprofit health advocacy arm, United Health Foundation. It’s based on 35 factors divided into five categories: behaviors; community and environment; policy; clinical care; and outcomes. The state ranked 49th in its high school graduation rate, 48th in violent crime and in the 40s in seven additional factors.

There were a few bits of good news for Nevada in the report: The percentage of children in poverty was nearly cut in half, from 20.6 percent to 11.4 percent, over the last five years, boosting it from 29th to sixth.

The state’s ranking in excessive drinking also dropped from 12th to 20th in the past year.

But the report found more unhealthy trends to counteract those gains. In the last four years, cardiovascular deaths increased 6 percent; physical inactivity pushed the state from 18th to 32nd on the list; HPV immunization among women dropped Nevada from 24th to 39th; and frequent mental distress sent it plunging from 29th to 45th.

Unlike in women, the HPV immunization rate among men increased nine points, moving the state from 35th to 29th.

The state also ranks high in salmonella cases — second behind only Maine.

UnitedHealthcare also ranks the state 40th in senior health and 47th in health for women and children in separate reports.

Contact Jessie Bekker at jbekker@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Follow @jessiebekks on Twitter.

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