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August 20, 2014

New list: Minnesota No. 5 healthiest state

Minnesota is a respectable No. 5 on a list that ranks states on 24 health factors.

The new 2012 America’s Health Rankings study examines data from a number of sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association, Census Bureau and even the FBI.

Study authors examined factors that include tobacco and alcohol abuse, exercise, infectious diseases, crime rates, public health funding, access to immunizations, premature birth rates and cancer and heart disease rates.

Among the specific findings about Minnesota: The state’s sedentary lifestyle and diabetes rates are among the lowest in the U.S. But the numbers are still troubling: 891,000 adults live a sedentary lifestyle and almost 300,000 adults have diabetes. And the state has a relatively high percentage of binge drinkers, the report says.

States healthier than Minnesota, according to the report: Vermont, Hawaii, N.H., Massachusetts.

The study ultimately concludes that nationwide, Americans are living longer, with fewer deaths from heart disease and cancer, but more chronic illnesses, USA Today reports.

The annual health reports outlines troubling levels of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and sedentary behavior, but it also outlines how medical advances allow more people to live with the conditions, USA Today notes.