When it comes to smoking and lung cancer deaths among women, Utah has the lowest rates compared to other states, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In fact, Utahns are healthier in many ways than most Americans, according to "Health United States 1988," a just-released book full of charts and statistics giving information about a variety of health issues, often on a state-by-state basis.It shows Utah has the lowest percentage of men and women who smoke, has the lowest death rate from lung cancer among women, has one of the lowest heart disease death rates and has the fifth lowest infant mortality rate.
All that is good because the report also shows Utah has relatively fewer doctors and hospital beds available.
Some other possible problems for Utah include a relatively high suicide rate among young males, a relatively high death rate from breast cancer and a relatively high death rate among infants older than the neonatal stage.
Following is a look at some of the categories in which Utah is mentioned in the report and how its citizens rate: - SMOKING - Utah has the lowest percentage of male adults who smoke, 18.2 percent. Alaska has the highest, 41 percent.
Utah also has the lowest percentage of female adults who smoke, 10.2 percent. Nevada has the highest, 33.9 percent.
- LUNG CANCER (women age 55-74) - Utah has the lowest lung cancer death rate in that category, 44.9 per 100,000. Nevada has the highest, 173.1.
- HEART DISEASE (adults 45-64) - Utah men in that group have the fourth lowest heart disease death rate in the country, 315 per 100,000. New Mexico had the lowest at 301.4, and West Virginia had the highest at 528.5.
Utah women in that group had the fifth lowest heart disease death rate, 99.3 per 100,000. North Dakota had the lowest at 91.8 and West Virginia had the highest at 192.8.
- BREAST CANCER - Utah has a relatively low death rate among women from breast cancer, 79 per 100,000. Nine states have lower rates. Hawaii has the lowest, 58.5; the District of Columbia has the highest, 111.
- SUICIDE (males 15-24) - Utah has one of the higher rates at 23.3 per 100,000. Thirty-six states have lower rates. The lowest is New York, 14.2, and the highest is Nevada, 40.2.
- LEUKEMIA AMONG MEN - The leukemia death rate among men in Utah is among the lower rates at 3.98 per 100,000. But 15 states have lower rates. The District of Columbia has the lowest rate, 2.6; Nebraska has the highest, 5.98.
- INFANT BIRTH WEIGHT - Relatively few babies are born in Utah weighing less than 2,500 grams (about 5.5 pounds). The rate is 5.6 per 100 live births. Nine states have better rates. Alaska has the best, 4.8; Washington, D.C. has the worst, 12.7.
- INFANT MORTALITY RATE - Utah has the fifth lowest overall infant mortality rate, 9.1 per 1,000 live births. North Dakota has the lowest, 8.4; Washington, D.C., has the highest, 21.
Utah also has the fifth lowest neonatal infant mortality rate (for just-born infants), 5.4 per 1,000 live births. North Dakota has the lowest, 4.7; Washington, D.C., has the highest, 16.
But Utah has a relatively high post-neonatal infant mortality rate of 3.8 per 1,000 live births. Thirty-five states have lower rates. Connecticut has the lowest, 2.4; Alaska has the highest, 5.3.
Utah had a fairly low fetal death rate, 8.2 per 1,000 live births plus fetal deaths. Nine states had lower rates. Maine had the lowest, 6.5; Hawaii had the highest, 15.8.
- AIDS - Utah has a relatively low incidence of AIDS cases. Its rate is 3.65 cases per 100,000 people. Sixteen states have lower rates. The lowest is North Dakota, 0.58; the highest is the Washington, D.C., with 78.9.
- DOCTORS - Utah has 17.4 doctors per 10,000 residents. Eighteen states have lower rates. The lowest is Idaho, 12; the highest is Washington, D.C., 56.
- HOSPITAL USE - Utah has fewer hospital beds available per 1,000 residents than any other state, 2.7 per 1,000 residents. Washington, D.C., has the most, 7.7.
But Utahns leave a lot of those beds empty. The occupancy rate in Utah hospitals was 58 percent. Fourteen states had lower rates. The lowest was Nevada, 47.1; the highest was New York, 82.1.