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50 States Ranked by Excessive Drinking — and Colorado's Drinking Problem

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Back in 2014, we shared Centers for Disease Control figures showing where several major Colorado cities ranked as measured by binge drinking.

The results weren't especially positive — and data from the United Health Foundation’s annual health rankings suggest that the trend has yet to be reversed.

There's plenty of good news elsewhere in the analysis, shared below in its entirety. For example, Colorado is rated America's least obese state and the eighth healthiest overall.

But when it comes to excessive alcohol use, which includes binge drinking and chronic drinking, the state finishes well back in the pack.

See the photo-illustrated rankings for all fifty states below, followed by the "value" that determined the final order. The material is followed by an excerpt from the Colorado page of the report, showing strengths, challenges and more, and the aforementioned document, with much more information about a wide variety of health concerns.

Ranking by Excessive Drinking

1 West Virginia 10.3
2 Tennessee 11.6
3 Utah 12.1
4 Alabama 13.3
5 Oklahoma 13.5
6 Kentucky 13.6
7 Mississippi 13.8
8 Arkansas 14.3
9 New Mexico 15.1
9 North Carolina 15.1
11 South Carolina 15.5
12 Georgia 15.6
13 Indiana 15.8
14 Idaho 16.1
14 Missouri 16.1
16 New York 16.5
17 Arizona 16.6
17 Virginia 16.6
19 Maryland 16.8
20 Florida 17.0
21 Kansas 17.1
22 California 17.2
22 Delaware 17.2
24 New Jersey 17.3
25 Texas 17.4

26 Connecticut 17.6
26 Nevada 17.6
28 Louisiana 17.7
28 Pennsylvania 17.7
30 South Dakota 18.3
31 Wyoming 18.5
32 Washington 18.8
33 New Hampshire 18.9
33 Oregon 18.9
35 Colorado 19.0
35 Maine 19.0
37 Ohio 19.1
38 Massachusetts 19.6
39 Rhode Island 20.2
40 Michigan 20.4
41 Vermont 20.6
42 Montana 20.8
43 Hawaii 21.1
44 Minnesota 21.2
45 Illinois 21.4
45 Nebraska 21.4
47 Alaska 21.7
48 Iowa 22.3
49 Wisconsin 23.3
50 North Dakota 25.0
United States 17.6
District of Columbia 27.2

Colorado specifics:

Strengths:

• Low prevalence of obesity
• Low prevalence of physical inactivity
• Low prevalence of diabetes

Challenges:

• Large disparity in health status
by education level
• High incidence of pertussis
• High prevalence of low birthweight

Ranking:

Colorado is 8th this year; it was 8th in 2014.

Highlights:

• In the past year, preventable hospitalizations decreased 13% from 38.2 to 33.2 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries.
• In the past year, children in poverty increased 23% from 14.0% to 17.2% of children.
• In the past 2 years, smoking decreased 11% from 17.7% to 15.7% of adults.
• In the past 10 years, cardiovascular deaths decreased 27% from 268.6 to 196.2 per 100,000 population.
• Since 1990, infant mortality decreased 48% from 9.2 to 4.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.


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