Oklahomans' Life Expectancy Ranks Near Bottom In U.S.

Tuesday, September 20th 2011, 11:26 am
By: News On 6

Russell Hulstine, NewsOn6.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma has fewer babies that survive their first birthday and a life expectancy for residents that is shorter than almost every other state in the country.

Those are just two of the alarming findings in the Oklahoma State Board of Health just released 2011 State of the State's Health Report.

The report cites several areas of concern.

Oklahomans are still highly dependent on tobacco as seen with chronic rates of lower respiratory disease and with obesity as seen with a chronic number of diabetes cases in Oklahoma.

Other areas of concern include limited access to prenatal care and availability of primary care physicians and high rates of preventable hospitalizations and cardiovascular disease.

ODOH says despite that bad news, Oklahoma's overall health ranking has improved from 49th to 46th in the nation.

The report highlights some bright spots such as childhood immunizations, Oklahoma's rate of uninsured adults, ages 18 to 64, continues to decrease, due in part to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority's "Insure Oklahoma" program and fewer Oklahoma youth are using tobacco.

Read the 2011 State of the State's Health Report.