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john65pennington's avatar

Is there one U.S. state, where people seem to have a longer life longevity?

Asked by john65pennington (29070 points ) April 10th, 2012

Question: is there one U.S. state, where people seem have a longer life longevity, compared to all other states and why is this?

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11 Answers

tom_g's avatar

Here is a list of life expectancy by state.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@tom_g beat me to the link. It looks like those in the north preserve better, or maybe it has to do with the vast quantities of fried food consumed in the south. Florida is the one-off, but in my book, it doesn’t count. Aren’t most of the people living there either retired Yankees or from another part of the world? John, it’s time for us to relocate.

wundayatta's avatar

Life expectancy is almost certainly related to wealth and access to health care.

There is, however, a pocket of centenarians in Georgia who have been studied extensively. I don’t know if there is an explanation for why this pocket lives where it lives, but it does seem to go against general geographic trends with respect to aging.

john65pennington's avatar

Pied Pfeffer, pack your bags and lets call a moving van.

bkcunningham's avatar

I don’t know, @wundayatta. Take a look at per capita spending of federal government funds in the US. Several southern states are ranked in the top 10. Mississippi is ranked 10 in per capita spending in federal assistance. DC is number 1.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m not surprised California was high on that list. Though, we could just be fooling everybody with all the plastic surgery. :)

wundayatta's avatar

@bkcunningham I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Usually higher federal spending is directed to the poorest communities. The poor also usually have the worst access to health care. So I don’t see how federal spending might help explain the pocket of centenarians.

creative1's avatar

I don’t know about anyone else but Hawaii is looking more and more appealing now knowing you can live longer.

linguaphile's avatar

I wonder how much genetics contribute as well. Minnesotans are pretty homogenous in their genetic makeup—almost all of them are north Germans and Scandinavians. If north Germans and Scandinavians have a similar life expectancy over in Europe, if we were to check their demographics, then I would say genetics is a factor.

Hawai’i? I would say genetics there too—as I understand it, the native islanders haven’t deviated much from their centuries old eating habits.

They don’t fry a lot of food in Minnesota, no, but they eat a ludicrous amount of pasta and other carbs and I’ve seen a good number of these skinny assed Scandinavians put away food that would topple a horse and not gain a pound! Why don’t they have a high number of people who get diabetes? Genetics.

As for the South, there is a high number of Irish descendants and African Americans. Genetically, they are not equipped to handle a steady stream of food, but are better designed to survive periods of famine—mix that genetic makeup with a carb-heavy, oil-heavy diet, they’re not going to last long on that without health problems.

I know I’m not 100% right—but this is what I’ve put together from several sources. I don’t see many articles that talk about this topic.

It’s a myth that the South has poor health care—UAB has long been a respected center for medical research and medical services are just like the rest of the country—good in some areas, not so good in others. The problem is getting the proud, stubborn, ‘I can do it myself’ people to go to the doctor. These people are the hardest workers I’ve seen, complain the least, and are unfortunately distrustful of people who have power to wield over them.—i.e. doctors. I’ve seen doctors who should have been guillotined for continued malpractice, but because the community’s so poor, they feel they have little power to speak up. I think that should be where services focus their attention—developing a better relationship between the community and medical providers.

bkcunningham's avatar

@wundayatta, no, I wasn’t talking about the pocket of centenarians. I was referring to spending in general. There has been billions of federal dollars given to low income Mississipians over the years and it hasn’t made their health any better.

zenvelo's avatar

Florida is a statistical anomaly because some many retire there. Their stats don’t include those who die off before they can retire to Florida. Once you make it to 65, your life expectancy is much greater than that of someone under the age of ten.

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