CDC: N.H. Scores Well on Prevention

Concord — New Hampshire has scored well overall in 10 areas of prevention, such as food safety and reporting infections, but it has room for improvement, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A report rates the states on each of the categories with the top rating of green, followed by yellow or a red mark.

The state got green ratings for food safety, preventing health care-associated infections, HIV testing laws and data reporting.

The state was on a par with the United States as a whole for overall motor-vehicle-related death rate, the death rate among 15-20-year-olds, and the percentage of crashes related to alcohol consumption, but observed seat belt use in New Hampshire is much lower than the national average. The state also received three red scores on seat belt law, child passenger restraint law, and graduated driver licensing.

Teen pregnancy rates and the use of birth control by teens are much better than the national average, but the state received a red rating for not expanding Medicaid coverage to include family planning.

Smoking rates in New Hampshire are on a par with U.S. rates. The state, however, received a yellow score for cigarette excise tax, a red ranking for a comprehensive state smoke-free policy, and a red mark for tobacco control funding.

“As a whole, we are doing well in our prevention rates,” said Dr. José Montero, director of public health at the state Health Department’s Division of Public Health Services. “I am proud of the employees at the DHHS and all of our partners and the excellent work they do every day under difficult circumstances to protect the people of New Hampshire. There is, however, room for improvement, and we will certainly be using this report to analyze where we can improve going forward.”