Men in Minnesota live longer than those in any other state. Minnesota women rank fourth.

These above-average findings were published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Overall, residents of the North Star State have the fourth longest expectancy, with an average life span of 80.8 years, ranking behind only Hawaii, California and Connecticut, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Mississippi had the lowest life expectancy, with an average of 74.7 years.

Minnesota men had an average life expectancy of 78.7 years. Women, with an average life expectancy of 82.9 years, ranked fourth in the nation.

Minnesota residents overall lead the nation in "healthy life expectancy" at 70.3 years. That category is defined as years of life spent in full health.

The study covering 333 diseases and injuries and 84 risk factors looked at the impacts of disease in all 50 states to come up with its findings.

"Minnesota has a lot to be proud of and a lot to work on when it comes to public health," said state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. "Our strong performance relative to other states is encouraging, but the report clearly shows big challenges that must be addressed."

Smoking was the top risk factor causing death and disability in Minnesota, according to the study. Other factors included obesity, high plasma glucose (blood sugar), high blood pressure and alcohol use.

Low back pain topped the list of health issues causing Minnesotans to live with years of disability, followed by depression. Study authors also cited dramatic increases in Minnesotans' disease burden attributable to diabetes and opioid use from 1990 to 2016.

Nationwide, the five leading causes of death are heart disease; lung and trachea cancer; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Alzheimer's disease and other dementias; and cancer of the colon and rectum, the study found.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768