Living longer may come down to location, location, location, according to a new study showing that the difference between people dying while they are in their 50s or living until they're in their 80s can be a matter of changing their zip codes.
According to a study by experts at Stanford University the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, cities in New York and Florida were the places where people were living longer, reports The Washington Post:
- Yonkers, NY
- New York City
- Port St. Lucie, Fla.
- Naples, Fla.
The five places with lower expectancy were:
- Gulfport, Miss.
- Las Vegas
- Bakersfield, Calif.
- Beaumont, Texas
- Lake Charles, La.
The study, which looked into people ages 65 or older who decide to move or to stay where they are, found that if a person of average health moves into a location where life expectancies are longer, they'll live longer, but if they move to a location where life expectancy is shorter, they can expect to die earlier.
“Where you live when you are elderly (over age 65) affects your longevity,” Heidi Williams, an MIT associate economics professor and one of the study's authors, said.
A move, from a place in the bottom 10 locations to one in the top 10 percent could extend an average person's life by a little over a year.
The biggest determination about a person's longevity was their own "health capital," or their own behaviors, medical care, and genetic inheritances, but with the cities, quality and healthcare ranked high in the study.
However, the quality and availability of healthcare, as communities whose providers rank high nationally have a higher impact on seniors, while rural areas fared worse in the study.
Climate also plays a role, as extreme heat and cold cause problems for seniors' health, as does air pollution.
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