How Healthy Are Women in West Virginia?

Women in West Virginia have the shortest life expectancy in the country: 78.1 years. Could heart health have something to do with it? West Virginia women are more likely to develop heart disease than women in any other state. And their rates of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure rank among the five highest. Bad too is the smoking rate – 25.9 percent – which translates to one of the highest lung cancer rates in the country.

But there’s good news, too. Women here binge drink less than most; the state has the second lowest rate. And the breast cancer rate is among the lowest (though deaths from the disease exceed the national average). Also, West Virginia women have one of the lowest asthma rates in the country.

See where West Virginia ranks on the health issues below. Remember, #1 is healthiest; #50 is least healthy.

  Category State Rank
1 Tendency to binge drink #2
2 Cases of breast cancer #2
3 Cases of asthma #5
4 Cases of lung cancer #46
5 Get Pap smears #42
6 Have health insurance #33
7 Cases of skin cancer (melanoma) #37
8 Get mammograms #33
9 Cases of colorectal cancer #41
10 Cases of ovarian cancer #18
11 Smoke cigarettes #49
12 Cases of depression #34
13 Die from gunshot wounds #24
14 Cases of cervical cancer #48
15 Cases of heart disease #50
7 Go to the dentist #46
8 Cases of high cholesterol #47
9 Eat 5 daily servings of fruits & vegetables #47
10 Physically active #47
11 Live the longest #50
12 Cases of diabetes #47
13 Cases of high blood pressure #48
14 Are obese or overweight #41
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