Undated (KROC-AM News) - There may be some benefit to waiting well past the Spring equinox for the actual arrival of Spring weather. The Minnesota Department of Health says a new study of the broad impacts of disease in all 50 states found Minnesotans live longer and healthier lives than residents of nearly all of the other states.

The report from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington ranked Minnesota fourth overall for life expectancy. Hawaii was ranked first, followed by California and Connecticut. Minnesota men led the nation for life expectancy for males at 78.7 years, while women in Minnesota had the fourth-longest life expectancy at 82.9 years. Perhaps, most importantly, Minnesota had the number one healthy life expectancy at 70.3 years. That number is defined as the years of life spent enjoying full health.

“Minnesota has a lot to be proud of and a lot to work on when it comes to public health,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “Our strong performance relative to other states is encouraging, but the report clearly shows big challenges that must be addressed. The nation’s overall health performance is poor when compared with many other countries, and if we want to turn that around we need to focus more on preventing diseases rather than just treating them. Closer to home, Minnesota has serious health disparities across population groups, and we need to reduce these disparities in order for all of us to be as healthy as we can be.”

The study was published in the new issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. It covers 333 diseases and injuries, along with 84 risk factors.