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Minnesotans healthier, live longer than those in other states

Minnesotans have the longest "healthy life expectancy" in the country.

A national study has found that Minnesotans live longer and are healthier than those living in almost all other states.

The study by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics was published on Tuesday and looked at the impacts of disease in every state.

Covering 333 diseases and injuries, as well as 84 risk factors, the study ranked Minnesota 4th overall for life expectancy.

The only states that rank higher are Hawaii, California and Connecticut, but when it's broken down by gender, Minnesota has the longest life expectancy for men at 78.7 years, while it's 4th for women at 82.9 years.

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But life expectancy isn't everything when one's latter years are spent riddled with illness, which is why it's extremely positive that Minnesotans have the longest "healthy life expectancy."

The average Minnesotan enjoys 70.3 years in "full health," the study found.

There's room for improvement, not least because smoking remains the top "risk factor" causing death and disability in the state, with other issues including obesity – which has been rising in Minnesota in recent years – and lower back pain (probably from shoveling snow).

There's also been a significant rise in diabetes and opioid use in the past 25 years.

"Our strong performance relative to other states is encouraging, but the report clearly shows big challenges that must be addressed," Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a press release.

"The nation’s overall health performance is poor when compared with many other countries, and if we want to turn that around we need to focus more on preventing diseases rather than just treating them. Closer to home, Minnesota has serious health disparities across population groups, and we need to reduce these disparities in order for all of us to be as healthy as we can be."

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