Data compiled from the State Health Department shows Texas now has one of the nation's highest obesity rates. The number of adults with diabetes is up by more than 50% over the past decade. Infectious disease rates are up 40% in the last year alone. And the state now ranks dead last in terms of the percentage of adults with health insurance and access to early prenatal care.
Dr. Salil Deshpande is market medical director for UnitedHealthCare of Texas.
"There is certainly a day-to-day impact that businesses will feel just from absenteeism, because of an increased burden of disease. But I think a downstream effect, too, for that business is also the rising medical expense that they are faced with when it comes time to paying insurance premiums."
On the plus side, the study shows smoking, preventable hospitalizations and infant mortality are all on the decline in Texas. Vermont ranks healthiest among the 50 states, Mississippi the least healthy