A recent study has shed light on the health status of all 50 states in the US. The study evaluated various health factors, and the results revealed that Kentucky holds the unfortunate title of being the second most unhealthy state in America.

Health Scores Factors

The study, conducted by Dental expert lighthousedentalcentre.com, took into account 13 distinct criteria to determine the health scores of each state, including air quality, obesity prevalence, physical activity, prevalent health conditions like cholesterol, cancer, and coronary heart disease, sleep quality, smoking and drinking habits, food consumption patterns, and the percentage of adults with no tooth loss.

Calculating the Scores

Scores were assigned for each criterion, and then were combined and weighted to generate a final score out of 100. The data for the study was sourced from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While Colorado ranked as the healthiest state in America, Kentucky, and West Virginia ranked as the least healthy states.

WGBF-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Kentucky is the #2 Least Healthy State

Kentucky scored just 41.4 out of 100, earning its second-place position among the least healthy states. While it has better air quality than West Virginia, the state faces significant challenges in various health aspects. The prevalence of obesity, physical inactivity, and poor sleep habits contribute to its low score. Not only that, but an alarming number of adults in Kentucky engage in smoking, binge drinking, and unhealthy dietary habits.


High Rate of Smoking and Obesity in Kentucky

The disease-related metrics go on to highlight the health issues facing Kentucky residents. The state has the second-highest smoking rate, with 21.53% of adults being smokers. It also ranks fourth in obesity, with 37.8% of adults classified as obese. The lack of physical activity is also a concern, as 31.3% of adults did not exercise in the past month.

Kentucky Has One of the Lowest Life Expectancies

Kentucky's life expectancy is among the lowest, standing at 74.77 years, indicating the severity of health challenges faced by its residents. The state also grapples with a high drug overdose rate, with 35.32 per 100,000 residents affected. Tragically, the cancer mortality rate in Kentucky is 223.91 deaths per 100,000 residents, and the cancer incidence rate is 643.13 diagnoses per 100,000 residents, signifying a substantial health burden on its population.

See the Full Study

No doubt there is a lot to unpack with all of the data, but it is clear to see why Kentucky ranked as the second most unhealthy state in America. To see the full study, you can visit lighthousedentalcentre.com.

LOOK: Where people in Kentucky are moving to most

Stacker compiled a list of states where people from Kentucky are moving to the most using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

More From WGBF-FM