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Sick Much?

By Alicia Dorr in News on Nov 6, 2007 9:10PM

2007_11_06.caduceus.jpgWe've heard a lot more lately about the importance of hand washing, but we apparently still don’t rank when it comes to overall healthiness.

Public-health groups placed Illinois at a mediocre 27th when compared with the rest of the nation. Factors detrimental to our health include binge drinking, violent crime and preventable hospitalizations, which makes us want to drink ourselves into a stupor and talk our friends into starting a fight club. Positive aspects were our low occupational-fatality rates and easy access to primary care. Other factors taken into account included number of smokers, number of kids who are vaccinated, and number of people with health insurance.

As for the rest of the nation, Vermont wins and Mississippi loses, but we all get gold stars because the nation’s overall health has improved 18.4% since 1990. Well, half a gold star, because the nation is actually 0.3% sicker than the last year data was available. Also, life expectancy is 77.9 years, the highest it’s ever been. Well, for us, anyway; there are 43 nations with a better age average. We’d like to give a thumbs down to that, but we’re not sure of the conversion rates.

Detail of the caduceus mosaic at the Chicago Cultural Center via N8foto.