Thursday, September 14, 2006

Longevity Linked to Where One Lives

A government-funded study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that where you live, combined with race and income, plays a huge role in the nation's health disparities. For example, Asian-American women living in Bergen County, N.J., lead the nation in longevity, typically reaching their 91st birthdays. On the opposite end of the spectrum are American Indian men in South Dakota, who die around age 58 -- three decades sooner.

Health disparities are widely considered an issue of minorities and the poor being unable to find or afford good medical care. This study's county-by-county comparison of life expectancy shows the problem is far more complex. Regional differences in alcohol and tobacco use, blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity all seemed to be significant contributors to death rates.

To find out where your state ranked, click on the headline for the full story.


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