Colo. ranks 8th healthiest state in U.S.

(Photo: Courtesy of the National Cancer Institute)
<p>Young patient sits on doctor&#039;s lap.</p>
Photo: doctor and patient
Young patient sits on doctor's lap.

That’s the official word from the 24th annual America’s Health Rankings, published by the United Health Foundation.

Colorado earned extra points this year for having a more physically-active population and fewer smokers.

"There’s a really low level of obesity, a low rate of diabetes, really low levels of air pollution in the state, and we saw really low levels of preventable hospitalizations," Hellmer said.

And now for the bad news

Hellmer says Colorado also faces some serious challenges.

For example, Colorado ranks 39th in the US for its prevalence of binge drinking.

"More than 19% of the population reported binge drinking in Colorado. There’s also a high rate of deaths related to drug use," Hellmer said.

Colorado comes in at 35th for deaths related to drug use.

Still the state has improved from last year, moving up from 9th place.

Except for Utah at 6th place, Colorado ranks the healthiest state in the west.

Hawaii came in at number one.

Highlights of the report for Colorado: