ND Licensing Aligns with Healthy State Rankings
Mike Jawer, AANP Director of Government and Public Affairs
Friday, December 19, 2014
by: Mike Jawer, AANP Director of Government and Public Affairs

Section: State and Federal Advocacy

An annual health ranking of the 50 states shows that 8 of the top 10 states and 13 of the top 20 states are those in where NDs are licensed.

Hawaii finished first for the third year in a row, with Vermont ranked second and Massachusetts third. Connecticut, Utah, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Colorado, and North Dakota are all licensed states ranked in the top 10. Mississippi ranked last, preceded by Arkansas and Louisiana.

The report, “America’s Health Rankings,” is a joint effort of the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the Partnership for Prevention. This year’s edition is the 25th yearly report produced.

The report considers factors such as the prevalence of smoking, obesity and diabetes, availability of primary care physicians, immunization coverage, disparities in health status by education level, and rates of preventable hospitalizations, cancer deaths, and cardiovascular deaths.

A companion report ranks the states gauged to be the healthiest for seniors. In this report, 7 of the top 10 states and 14 of the top 20 are those in which NDs are licensed. Minnesota comes in first, Hawaii second and New Hampshire third. Other “top 10” states for seniors where NDs are licensed are Vermont, Colorado, Utah and Oregon. Mississippi again ranks last, preceded by Louisiana and Kentucky.

While AANP would make no claim that naturopathic care is a cause of these high ratings, there could be an association with the types of patients who seek naturopathic care – precisely because they value their own health and want to be proactive in maintaining wellness.

Interestingly, Maryland – which became licensed this past year – saw the biggest jump in the rankings.

One other salient finding is that Americans’ obesity rate is on the increase once again, from 27.6% to 29.4% of adults. Nearly a quarter of people report getting no physical exercise over the past 30 days.
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