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Maine Ranks 8th Among Healthiest States 

When it comes to healthy states, Maine is in pretty good shape. A new list by America’s Health Rankings puts Maine at number 8. In 2009, Vacationland ranked 9.Family physician Dr. Glen Rampe, says there are several factors that helped Maine climb the list.”Maine has fewer pockets of deeply entrenched poverty compared to some of the urban states also the imporvement in Maine’s smoking rate has been quite good, smoking is one of the worst things you can do in terms of your health status,” Rampe said.According to the study, smoking has dropped from 21 percent to 17 percent in the past five years.Rampe says less smoking means better heart health. In the past ten years, deaths from cardiovascular disease have decreased from 328 to 250.”You start getting an improvement rather quickly in your cardiovascular rate and that continue to improve over time so I think the cardiovascular rate is partially what you are seeing with the smoking rate.”But not all of the news in the survey is good. Maine continues to follow a nationwide trend. Since 1990, obesity more than doubled from 12 percent to 26.”The change in the types of foods Americans eat, the foods that have more calories, there’s been an increase, there’s been a decrease in activities.”Rampe says that’s a problem that will continue to lead to other trouble in the future.”The obesity rate is beginning to push up rather marginally with the increase in diabetes in the population so now we have to deal with that probably 15 to 20 years down the road starting to increase with the rates of cardiovascular disease.”If you’d like to see the complete list, log onto www.americashealthrankings.org