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Entries in Counties (2)

Wednesday
Jun152011

Life Expectancy in US Counties Not as High as Other Countries

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- People in most U.S. counties aren't living as long as people in other countries, according to a new report.

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that over the past decade life expectancy in the majority of U.S. counties dropped below the life expectancy of people in the 10 nations who live the longest.

"Despite the fact that the U.S. spends more per capita than any other nation on health, eight out of every 10 counties are not keeping pace in terms of health outcomes.  That's a staggering statistic," said Dr. Chris Murray, the institute's director.

In 2007, life expectancy across counties ranged from 65.9 to 81.1 years old for men and 73.5 and 86 for women.  Between 1987 and 2007, life expectancy increased nationwide from 71.3 to 75.6 years old for men and from 78.4 to 80.8 years old for women.  Despite the increase, they still lag more than three years below people who live in the 10 longest-living nations, which include Japan, Australia, Singapore, and Sweden.

"When we look at what's happened in U.S. counties in the past decade in terms of improving life expectancy and compare it to what is medically possible and what other countries have been able to achieve, we are not keeping up," said Murray.

The counties with the lowest life expectancies are:

Women:

-- Holmes, Mississippi
-- Sunflower, Mississippi
-- Humphreys, Mississippi
-- Sharkey, Mississippi
-- Quitman, Mississippi

The life expectancies in these counties are lower than 74 years, placing them behind such nations as Honduras, El Salvador, and Peru.

Men:

-- Holmes, Mississippi
-- Quitman, Mississippi
-- Tunica, Mississippi
-- McDowell, Mississippi
-- Humphreys, Mississippi

The life expectancies in these counties are lower than 69 years, lower than those of Brazil, Latvia, and the Philippines.

The counties with the highest life expectancies are the same for men and women:

-- Collier, Florida
-- Teton, Wyoming
-- Marin, California
-- Montgomery, Maryland
-- San Mateo, California´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar302011

Is Your County Healthy? Report Gives US Counties Annual Checkup

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock(MADISON, Wis.) -- You may have an idea on how healthy your town or city is, but what about your county?

An annual set of reports is now available ranking the health of almost every U.S. county, and the results show many different factors play a role in shaping people's health.

"Although health care is really important, much of what influences health happens outside the doctor's office, including education, income, access to healthy foods, places to exercise and smoke-free air," said Bridget Booske, senior scientist at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute in Madison.

Booske is also deputy director of County Health Rankings, a project done in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  One purpose of the reports is to help counties understand what influences people's health as well as to determine how long they will live.

ABC News looked at the five most populous states and which counties ranked highest (healthiest) and lowest (unhealthiest):

California:
-- Highest: Marin
-- Lowest: Trinity

Texas:
-- Highest: Williamson
-- Lowest: Marion

New York:
-- Highest: Putnam
-- Lowest: Bronx

Florida:
-- Highest: Collier
-- Lowest: Union

Illinois:
-- Highest: Kendall
-- Lowest: Alexander´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio