I rarely spend time thinking about how managing my health — whether it’s diet, exercise or preventive measures — affects people outside of my family and close friends. But if I were to take a big step back and catch a bird’s-eye view, I might see how my actions, decisions and genetics — resulting in the state of my individual health — contribute to my state’s health.
I actually did begin to wonder about this and, in so doing, ran across a nifty little site, StateHealthFacts.org. A project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (which focuses on the nation’s major health care issues), the site provides free, simple, updated health data on more than 500 health topics for all 50 states. The site’s data is collected from a variety of public and private sources, including Kaiser Family Foundation reports, data from public websites, and information purchased from private organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute.
Want to know how your state ranks on obesity, smoking, breast cancer, even dental visit rates? I was able to while away a good chunk of time studying my own state’s rankings on the site’s individual state and national comparison reports (very cool!). It’s the perfect site for researching a paper or just to satisfy curiosity. And speaking of curious, I was interested to learn that while my state, Washington, ranks below national average in smokers, it ranks highest in number of breast cancer incidences (per 100,000 cases). I wonder why that is?
How does your state rate?
Author by Kristi Anderson