(Undated) - Hoosiers are again ranked near the bottom for the healthiest state in the country.
Indiana is 38th for the second straight year in United Health Foundation’s annual "American Health Rankings" released Monday.
Ohio was nearby at 36th. Kentucky was among the worst at 43rd.
The report lauded Indiana for having a moderate prevalence of binge drinking and low geographic disparity.
There were concerns, however, with the smoking rate among Hoosiers.
“While smoking has decreased from 26.9 percent to 21.2 percent of adults in the past ten years, over 1.0 million people still smoke in Indiana,” the report stated.
Other challenges identified in Indiana’s ranking included a high percentage of children in poverty, low per capita public health funding, and high levels of air pollution.
The rankings are based on criteria such as high school graduation rates, violent crime rates, childhood immunizations, availability of primary care doctors and rate of preventable hospitalizations among others.
Vermont was rated the nation’s healthiest state. New Hampshire ranks second on health-related criteria that include high rate of high school graduation, low violent crime, usage of early prenatal care and availability of primary care physicians. Connecticut, Hawaii and Massachusetts rounded out the study's five healthiest states.
Mississippi was ranked as the country’s most unhealthy state.
The full rankings report and details on each state are available at http://www.americashealthrankings.org/Rankings.