Wisconsin improves to 10th in senior health rankings

Minnetonka, Minn.-based United Healthcare has released its annual “Senior Report,” ranking Wisconsin 10th in the nation.

Wisconsin’s overall rank improved by 9, the largest improvement among all states, the report said. 

The state’s “strengths,” according to the report, include “lowest prevalence of falls” (1st), “high percentage of dedicated health care providers” (3rd) and “high percentage of dental visits” (3rd). Wisconsin also ranked high in “diabetes management” (4th), and prevalence of smoking (5th). 

Wisconsin ranked high among Midwestern states, second in the region to Minnesota, which ranked 1st overall in the nation. Iowa and Michigan also ranked in the top 20, at 13th and 20th, respectively.

The state’s “challenges” include “low flu vaccination coverage” “low prescription drug coverage,” and “high prevalence of chronic drinking,” coming in 49th in all three categories. Wisconsin also ranked low with a high prevalence of obesity, coming in 47th in that category. 

Other highlights of the report include: 

– In the past year, the prevalence of smoking decreased from 9.6 percent to 6.7 percent of adults aged 65 and older.

– In the past year, flu vaccination coverage decreased from 56.5 percent to 50.5 percent of seniors.

– The percentage of seniors reporting their health is very good or excellent increased in the past year, from 39.0 to 44.4 percent of adults aged 65 and older.

– In the past year, use of hospice care increased from 34.5 percent of decedents aged 65 and older to 47.2 percent, and hospital deaths decreased from 25.0 percent of decedents aged 65 and older to 20.9 percent.

See the full report here.

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