Arizona ranked No. 22 for senior health this year, according to the third edition of United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities.

Nationwide, the report shows positive trends for senior health, especially for those measures that look at whether seniors are getting the right care in a setting of their choice. Seniors are experiencing lower hospital readmission rates and preventable hospitalization rates compared to last year, while hospice care use and the number of home healthcare workers have increased.

“United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings Senior Report is a vital tool for understanding where we, as a state, are making strides in senior health and where key challenges for Arizona’s seniors remain,” said Thomas Biuso, MD, market medical director, UnitedHealthcare in Arizona. “With America’s senior population poised to double by 2050, we must continue to invest in programs and solutions that address our seniors’ health needs and help them live the best lives they possibly can.”

Arizona’s Overall Health

The America’s Health Rankings Senior Report finds that Arizona has its share of strengths and challenges.

Arizona’s Strengths

  • Low prevalence of obesity: Arizona ranks 5th in the U.S. with 23.2 percent of adults over age 65 considered obese.
  • High hospice care use: Arizona ranks first in the country for hospice care use, with more than 65 percent of decendents aged 65 who received hospice care in the last six months of life.
  • High health status: Arizona ranks 7th, with 46.5 percent of the senior population in very good or excellent health.

Arizona’s Challenges

  • High prevalence of chronic drinking: More than 4 percent of the senior population reports chronic drinking, ranking Arizona 37th in the U.S.
  • Low volunteerism: Less than 20 percent of Arizona seniors volunteer, ranking Arizona 45th.
  • Low percentage of seniors with dedicated provider: More than eight percent of the senior population does not have a dedicated health care provider, ranking Arizona 42nd.

50-State Snapshot: Vermont is the Healthiest State for Seniors

According to the report, Vermont is the healthiest state for seniors, rising from fourth place last year. New Hampshire ranks second, improving one spot from last year. Minnesota fell to third after being ranked first for two years in a row, while Hawaii (4) and Utah (5) round out the top five states. Louisiana HHLaouLranks 50th as the least healthy state for older adults, followed by Mississippi (49), Kentucky (48), Arkansas (47) and Oklahoma (46).

To see the Rankings in full, visit: