Eastern Kentucky has lowest average life spans
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 6, 2016) — The center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University has released a series of maps of the varying degrees of life expectancy in cities and states, including Kentucky. The Lexington Herald-Leader charted the statistics by county.
The report listed reasons why some areas are more healthier than others:
- Education and income are directly linked to health: Communities with weak tax bases cannot support high-quality schools and jobs are often scarce in neighborhoods with struggling economies.
- Unsafe or unhealthy housing exposes residents to allergens and other hazards like overcrowding. Stores and restaurants selling unhealthy food may outnumber markets with fresh produce or restaurants with nutritious food.
- Opportunities for residents to exercise, walk, or cycle may be limited, and some neighborhoods are unsafe for children to play outside.
- Proximity to highways, factories, or other sources of toxic agents may expose residents to pollutants.
- Access to primary care doctors and good hospitals may be limited.
- Unreliable or expensive public transit can isolate residents from good jobs, health and child care, and social services.
- Residential segregation and features that isolate communities (e.g., highways) can limit social cohesion, stifle economic growth, and perpetuate cycles of poverty.
Other cities and states mapped include: Atlanta; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Las Vegas; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Richmond, Va.; Raleigh-Durham; Mississippi; North Carolina; and the Inland Northwest.