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High smoking rate drags West Virginia down in health rankings

By Taylor Stuck, The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A culmination of three decades’ worth of data has shown interesting connections between West Virginia’s high smoking rate and other health disparities in the state.

The United Health Foundation recently released its inaugural America’s Health Rankings Health Disparities Report, which highlights disparities across race and ethnicity, education, gender and geography across the country. The large report paints a comprehensive portrait of health inequities by focusing on 30 measures of health as well as on several subpopulation groups.

America’s Health Rankings started in 1990 and is the longest-running annual assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state basis.

When looking at West Virginia’s data, Dr. Rhonda Randall, executive vice president and chief medical officer of United Healthcare Employer and Individual, said something that stood out to her was the state’s smoking rates. Disparities in rates between males and females is low, which Randall said is deceiving since West Virginia has the highest smoking rate in the nation…

To read more: https://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/high-smoking-rate-drags-west-virginia-down-in-health-rankings/article_878a6fc6-7408-5239-872f-7b2050f658ed.html

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