Tennessee senior health is one of the worst in the nation


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

State ranking

  1. Minnesota
  2. Utah
  3. Hawaii
  4. Colorado
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Connecticut
  8. Vermont
  9. Washington
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Maine
  12. Oregon
  13. Rhode Island
  14. Maryland
  15. South Dakota
  16. California
  17. Delaware
  18. North Dakota
  19. Iowa
  20. New Jersey
  21. New York
  22. Idaho
  23. Arizona
  24. Nebraska
  25. Virginia
  26. Pennsylvania
  27. Michigan
  28. Montana
  29. Alaska
  30. Florida
  31. Kansas
  32. North Carolina
  33. South Carolina
  34. New Mexico
  35. Ohio
  36. Illinois
  37. Wyoming
  38. Texas
  39. Indiana
  40. Nevada
  41. Georgia
  42. Missouri
  43. Alabama
  44. Tennessee
  45. West Virginia
  46. Arkansas
  47. Louisiana
  48. Oklahoma
  49. Kentucky
  50. Mississippi

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