Number of the Day: 17

March 16, 2011 | Number of The Day

New Jersey ranked 17th in America’s Health Rankings, an annual state-by-state look at the health of country sponsored by the United Healthcare Foundation, the American Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention.

The study looks at both determinants (actions a state can take to affect the future health of the population) and outcomes (the actual health statistics). New Jersey ranked 17th in determinants and 14th in outcomes.

In general, New Jerseyans scored well for a lower percentage of obesity (23.9 percent, ranking 6); low percentage of children in poverty (12.6 percent, ranking 6); a high rate of high school graduation (84.6 percent, ranking 6); and a high rate of primary care physicians (143 per 100,000). That last factor is interesting since the lack of primary care physicians is often cited by the medical community as a major issue in the state.

On the downside, New Jersey was cited for a high incidence of infectious diseases (19.4 per 100,000, ranking 41); limited access to early prenatal care (77.4 percent in first trimester, ranking 44); and a high rate of preventable hospitalizations for Medicare patients (76.2 per 1,000, ranking 38). In this ranking, New Jersey did better than its neighbors: New York was 24; Pennsylvania 27; and Delaware 32.