2011 State Health Report card released - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

2011 State Health Report card released

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The Mississippi State Medical Association released their annual findings on the state of Mississippi's health.

"We do have a lot of health problems in this state and a lot of those are things are those that each individual can make a choice as to whether they put themselves at risk or not," said State Health Department Director Dr. Mary Currier.

The report shows that Mississippi is number one in heart disease deaths, obesity, and teen pregnancy.

In addition, the state is number two in diabetes, hypertension, and infant mortality.

"And everyday family physicians, internal medicine physicians, and pediatricians across the state have patients come in, even children that are morbidly obese," said family physician and Chairman of the State Board of Health Dr. Luke Lampton. "And the percentages are just galling."    

Consequently, Lampton says many of his patients health reflect what's going on in the state.

"And to change these lives all of these things are going to have to happen at home. And the percentages are just galling."    

The State Health Department says health screenings are critical in disease prevention, but often these measures aren't offered in rural communities.

Reason why lawmakers say legislation should get passed to make access to screenings easier for folks in rural areas.

"We ought to strongly recommend that these people have a physical at least once a year," said Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville.

Meantime, the health report also shows that Mississippi ranks number 49th in the nation in having physicians per capita.

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