Los Angeles Times

What ails America? The answer varies from state to state

The state of the union's health is improving. But it is doing so very unequally, and recent signs of progress are in danger of being reversed by diseases of excess and despair, including obesity, depression, suicide and substance abuse.

Those are the broad conclusions of a new roundup of Americans' vital signs published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The report is the work of dozens of U.S. public health scholars who are part of an international consortium known as the Global Burden of Disease group. It finds that mortality rates in the United States have declined nearly 22 percent over 26 years, from 745 deaths per 100,000

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