Healthiest State Brief Reports
How Fast Can Wisconsin Become Healthier? A
Framework for Setting State Health Objectives
Key Message: If current trends in mortality continue in Wisconsin and other states, Wisconsin will drop in
rank relative to other states.
How Do Wisconsin's Health Outcomes Compare
to Those of Other Midwest States?
Key Message: While Wisconsin currently ranks fairly high in terms of overall mortality and health-related
quality of life, mortality among infants is higher in Wisconsin than in most Midwest states. Furthermore,
Wisconsin has seen less improvement over time in mortality and non-mortality outcomes than neighboring states.
How Should We Measure Health-Related
Quality of Life in Wisconsin?
Key Message: As we monitor progress towards improving health, we need to measure HRQOL as well as count the
number of lives saved or deaths avoided.
The Burden of Excess Deaths in Wisconsin
Key Message: If people died at the same rates in every Wisconsin county as they do in the county with the
lowest death rate, then close to 5000 deaths could be avoided each year.
The Causes of Excess Deaths in Wisconsin by Life Stage
Key Message: Deaths due to preventable or treatable cancers, ischemic heart disease, motor vehicle injuries and
other unintentional injuries, homicide, suicide, and other avoidable causes of death account for nearly 80% of
excess deaths in Wisconsin. Since these seven causes also include the leading avoidable causes of death in each
life stage, identifying and implementing interventions that target these seven causes should improve health
across all life stages.
Using Measures of Disparities as Indicators of the Health
Key Message: Assessments of health disparities between US states and within Wisconsin can serve as indicators of
the overall health of Wisconsin. The Healthiest State project will use relative measures of mortality and
non-mortality outcomes to describe these disparities.
Measuring the Burden of Non-Fatal Illness in Wisconsin
Key Message: To improve the health of Wisconsin, we need measures of disease burden for both fatal and
non-fatal illnesses. Several conditions impact the quality of life to a much greater extent than length of
life. These conditions that are notable for their frequency and impact include back problems, osteoarthritis,
asthma, and depression and other mental disorders.