MA is the healthiest state in the US

November Project participants climb stairs at Harvard Stadium in 2016

Vermont and CT were also ranked among the five healthiest states, at No. 3 and No. 5 respectively. That is the largest improvement for any state since 2012 but is still 2.5 percent higher than the national average of 17.1 percent. In addition, poor rankings in smoking, violent crime, public health funding, air pollution and excessive drinking landed the state in the bottom half for health in the nation.

The report, pulled together through the United Health Foundation and the American Public Health Association, previously had MA at No. 2, behind Hawaii.

Despite the good news, Colorado saw a 10 percent increase in adult obesity according to the report.

Even though MA is at the top, there was still an increase in drug deaths here, according to the report, showing that the epidemic is affecting even the healthiest states.

Gas prices continue slide
The highest average price nationwide for gasoline was $2.67 on September 8 and the lowest $2.23 on July 5. AAA reported that over the past four weeks gas prices have been on steady decline across the country.

"This report highlights the notable progress that our state is making to improve the health and wellbeing of every individual living in the commonwealth", Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement. "Today's news is a testament to the hard work and dedication of many people working across state and local government, health care providers and at the community grassroots level to make MA healthier".

Cardiovascular deaths increased for the second consecutive year, with the rate among African Americans significantly higher than the rate among whites, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans, and Native Americans.

One particularly troubling trend: The rate of premature death rose for the third year in a row. Other top healthiest states, based on wide ranging factors from vaccination rates, smoking rates and air pollution levels, were Hawaii, Vermont, Utah and CT.

The lowest ranked states include Mississippi (No. 50), Louisiana (No. 49), Arkansas (No. 48), Alabama (No. 47) and West Virginia (No. 46).

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