Oklahoma Ranks 46 in Nation's Overall Health Report

Oklahoma City, Ok. – According to Oklahoma State Health Commissioner Dr. Leslie Beitsch, the report is a call to action. This annual report card by UnitedHealth Foundation uses factors such as prevalence of smoking, violent crime, high school graduation rates, deaths due to cancer, heart disease, infectious disease and lack of health insurance. It used new methodology in some areas in 2001 where Oklahoma's rank went from 41st to 45th, and now is placed at 46th for 2002.
Among areas where Oklahoma scored decreased marks was the increase in the percentage of children living in poverty, with little improvement noted in prevalence of smoking. Challenges also include the high total mortality rate, high heart disease rate, high number of uninsured and low support for public health care. Areas of improvement were reduction in infectious diseases and a reduction in infant mortality.