FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The United Health Foundation released a report ranking the health of women and children in states across the nation, and Arkansas came in very close to the bottom.

The Natural State checked in at 49th in the 2022 Health of Women and Children report, with only Louisiana faring worse. The report highlights improvements, challenges and disparities in the health and well-being of women and children across all 50 states.

The report indicated these as relative strengths for Arkansas:

  • Low prevalence of alcohol use among youth
  • High prevalence of physical activity among children
  • High prevalence of well-woman visits

And the following were tabbed as some of the state’s biggest challenges:

  • High child mortality rate
  • Low percentage of female college graduates
  • Low prevalence of food sufficiency among children

Some other highlights from the report noted the following statistics:

  • Frequent mental distress increased 55% from 17.9% to 27.8% in women ages 18-44 between 2014-2015 and 2019-2020.
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome decreased 38% from 4.2 to 2.6 diagnoses per 1,000 birth hospitalizations between 2017 and 2019.
  • Mortality increased 31% from 129.6 to 169.3 deaths per 100,000 women ages 20-44 between 2019 and 2020.
  • Infant mortality decreased 11% from 8.2 to 7.3 deaths per 1,000 live births between 2016-2017 and 2018-2019.

An overview of the report is available here.