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Study: Minnesota ranks fourth in life expectancy

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota ranks fourth in the nation in life expectancy, according to a study released Tuesday, April 10.

Men in the state actually lead the nation with a life expectancy of 78.7 years, while women rank fourth at 82.9 years.

Hawaii was first, followed by California and Connecticut, according to the study coordinated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. It was published in the Tuesday, April 10,  issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study also noted that Minnesota residents overall lead the nation when defined as life spent in full health at 70.3 years.

"Minnesota has a lot to be proud of and a lot to work on when it comes to public health,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “Our strong performance relative to other states is encouraging, but the report clearly shows big challenges that must be addressed. The nation’s overall health performance is poor when compared with many other countries, and if we want to turn that around we need to focus more on preventing diseases rather than just treating them. Closer to home, Minnesota has serious health disparities across population groups, and we need to reduce these disparities in order for all of us to be as healthy as we can be.”

Smoking was the top risk factor causing death and disability in Minnesota, according to the study. Other factors in the top five included obesity, high fasting plasma glucose, high blood pressure and alcohol use. Low back pain was atop the list of health issues causing Minnesotans to live with years of disability, followed by depression. Study authors also cited dramatic increases in Minnesotans’ disease burden due to diabetes and opioid use between 1990 and 2016.