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Iowa Moves Up in State Health Rankings

Published: Dec. 30, 2016

Iowa moved up from 22nd to 17th this year in United Health Foundation’s state health rankings – but still has some things to work on.

The state ranked among the worst – 44th – in excessive drinking rates in “America’s Health Rankings 2016 Annual Report,” released earlier this month. That makes it the state’s worst category in the report.

In Iowa, 21 percent of adults age 20-64 drink to excess, compared with the national average of 16 percent, the report stated. The best and worst states were Tennessee at 11.2 percent and North Dakota at 24.7 percent, respectively.

Excessive alcohol use caused one in 10 deaths among adults 20-64 from 2006 to 2010 – more than half from binge drinking, the report stated.

Binge drinking can affect behavioral and physical health, said Dr. Thomas McElderry, lead physician and medical director for urgent care at Methodist Physicians Clinic.

Daily Nonpareil: Report: Iowa Among Worst When it Comes to Excessive Drinking