Michigan's older residents are getting healthier overall and the state's ranking on the basis of senior citizen health has improved to 20th from 26th.

According to a national survey released by the United Health Foundation, the state ranked 17th in terms of the overall health of older residents.

Michigan ranked the highest in terms of underweight senior adults and in terms of the number of adults who fell which often leads to serious complications.

In both categories, the state ranked number 2 overall. Perhaps ironically, its worst overall ranking was in terms of the number of obese older persons.

It stood 48th in that category, and the state ranked 43rd in terms of prescription drug coverage. The state also ranked poorly in the number of senior citizens getting flu shots, coming in at 40th.

But since the last survey, the state has shown a major improvement in older persons smoking.

It dropped by 22 percent according to the survey, putting Michigan at 9th in that category.

The annual survey conducted by the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based foundation found that Minnesota senior citizens had the highest ranking overall while the elderly in Mississippi were the least-healthy.