Some Southerners more likely to die prematurely, study finds

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It may not be your state of mind but your state of residence that determines your health and longevity, a new study suggests.

Residents have a higher chance of dying early in states that rank lowest in 32 measures of cost, insurance coverage and medical quality, a new report by the Commonwealth Fund concludes. Residents of the five lowest-ranking states die prematurely at twice the rate of those in the top-ranked five states, the study said. Premature death is defined as dying before age 75 from conditions that could be delayed or prevented by appropriate medical care.

The lowest-performing states are South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, according to the report. The top-ranked states are Minnesota, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming and Alaska.

The report is available online at www.commonwealthfund.org.