KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Too much smoking, lack of exercise and a large number of disabled seniors are all contributing factors for Tennessee scoring as one of the worst states in the nation for senior health.
Down one spot from last year, Tennessee is 44th in the nation for senior health, according to America’s Health Rankings. The ranking is part of a report by the United Health Foundation, a non-profit created by the parent company of United Healthcare.
Tennessee actually scored the worst in the nation for smoking among seniors. Since 2013, smoking increased 27 percent among adults over age 65, according to the report. More than 13 percent of adults over 65 currently smoke in Tennessee.
The state had an increase in obese seniors. Since 2016, researchers found obesity has increased 15.9 percent among adults over 65.
Also, fewer seniors are getting flu vaccinations. The report found that in the past two years, flu vaccination coverage decreased from 73.4 percent to 59.6 percent for adults over the age of 65.
There were some highlights from the report. Tennessee had a low prevalence of excessive drinking among seniors, an increase in health screenings and a decrease in people over 60 who have faced hunger at least once in the past year.
Top states for senior health include Minnesota, Utah, Hawaii, Colorado and New Hampshire. The lowest scoring states included Mississippi, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.
More: View full report
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- New Mexico
- West Virginia