California Among States With Longest Life Expectancy


California Among States With Longest Life Expectancy

California has always had the reputation of being a crunchy granola state, but, a new study shows Golden State residents are some of the longest-living in the United States. Rebecca Gluskin, a researcher with Measure of America says life expectancy can depend on a variety of factors. 

"From mental health, to physical health, different aspects of healthcare, different environmental factors, different access to food systems, and education systems, income, access to healthcare, all those sort of things," Gluskin said. 

The average Californian lives to be about 80-years-old putting the state at #4 for life expectancy in U.S. states and territories. Loma Linda, a city about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, is one of the country's defined 'Blue Zones' where many residents live well into their 80s or 90s, or even older. 

Gluskin says a person's lifespan can depend on where they live, with different cities across the state offering different levels of access to healthcare. 

As an example, Measure of America's in-depth analysis on Los Angeles County showed huge gaps in a person's standard of living, among different communities. How a community's education, average wages and infrastructure all factor into how long a person might live. 

According to Measure of America's study, the ten shortest-lived communities were found in southern areas of the state, as well in the Antelope Valley. African-Americans across the state live to an average age of 75, while Asian-Americans live to an average age of 86. 

Guskin says the data gives researchers a snapshot of how a person's lifespan can be impacted by factors you don't normally think about. 

"From the way that we look at life expectancy, is that, where you live doesn't determine how long you live, but it can be a factor," Guskin said. 

Experts say the key to longevity is about 30 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise three to five times per week, and eating a Mediterranean diet, which has long been associated with longer, healthier living. 


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