Report: Drug deaths spike, cancer prevention lacking among NJ seniors
New Jersey ranks among the bottom half of states in a 2023 report on the quality of life for senior citizens.
The Garden State is ranked No. 29 in the report from United Health Foundation, which looked at 55 measures from 22 sources, touching on categories such as clinical care, health outcomes, and social and economic factors.
New Jersey was given credit for a low prevalence of obesity among seniors (26.3%), but the state ranks in the bottom third for the share of folks aged 65 to 74 with multiple chronic conditions (56%).
Flu vaccination among New Jersey's 65+ population increased by 17% between 2013 and 2021, and New Jersey is No. 1 in the nation for COVID vaccination among seniors, the report notes.
At the same time, the report records a 158% increase in drug deaths between 2014-2016 and 2019-2021.
The Garden State was also cited for having a large share of seniors struggling with high housing costs and other housing problems.
Utah, New Hampshire, Colorado, Minnesota and Vermont were ranked by United Health Foundation as the healthiest states for older adults. Mississippi posted the lowest score, followed by Louisiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Oklahoma.