Kentucky has the highest proportion of smokers and Utah lights up the least, while New Yorkers are the most sedentary and Montanans the most active, a government health survey said.

The Centers for Disease Control study released Thursday lists the proportion of exercisers, alcohol drinkers, smokers and seat-belt users in 32 states during 1987 in a survey aimed at helping governments better combat disease.Lack of funding prevented a study of all 50 states, the CDC said.

The prevalence of three risk factors related to cardiovascular disease - excess weight, smoking and sedentary lifestyle - varied widely by state, the CDC said.

In Kentucky, nearly one-third of the population, 32.3 percent, still smoke, compared to 15 percent in Utah, the study said. West Virginia was next with 28.8 percent still smoking, followed closely by Indiana with 28.7 percent. The smallest proportion of smokers next to Utah were found in Idaho, with 20.5.

The government wants to cut the smoking rate to 25 percent nationally by 1990. The median stood at 25.2 percent as of the CDC study.

"The differences in services and health behavior between states is probably due to a complex set of factors, including social and cultural and economical differences," said Dr. Robert Anda, the author of the article. "Smoking we know is related to economic status. It's more common of people with a lower socio-economic status."

The study said 73.5 percent of New Yorkers qualified as sedentary - participating in leisure time physical activity less than 20 minutes, three times a week. Nebraskans were next with a 69.9 percent sedentary rate, followed by Kentuckians, at 69.6 percent, according to the study.

The most physically active Americans are from Montana, where only 47.2 percent qualified as sedentary. Washington state was next with a 47.4 percent sedentary rate.

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Utahns profiled

The Centers for Disease Control sampled 1,427 Utahns for its study of Americans' lifestyles and found that 15 percent smoke, 49.9 percent lead a sedentary lifestyle, 11 percent are binge drinkers, 4.3 percent are heavy drinkers, 2.1 percent drink while driving and 39.2 percent don't use seat belts.