People in Certain Areas of Florida Die Earlier. Doctors Speculate Why

Malinda Fusco
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It's no secret that women generally live longer than men. However, did you know that certain areas of Florida have a significantly higher life expectancy than others? The biggest disparity is between seemingly random counties in Florida; however, experts have theories on why this occurs.

This article talks about the life expectancy differences in Florida, what doctors contribute those differences to, and what you can do to lengthen your life span!

Certain Areas of Florida Have a Longer Life Expectancy

Although life expectancy varies based on where you live, Florida tends to have some of the most extreme gaps between the counties. Let's take a look at specific numbers.

According to World Life Expectancy, a website dedicated to recording data on life span for the world, Florida's data varies.
Screenshot of World Life Expectancy by Author

The area with the highest life expectancy in Florida is actually in Collier County. Men live about 81 years on average, and women live nearly 86 years.

The area with the lowest life expectancy in Florida is Union County. Men live about 64 years on average, and women live 76 years.

Doctors Ask "Why?"

What would cause such huge disparities in life expectancies? A study by the University of Washington sought out answers to such questions. Researchers speculate that four factors contribute to these extreme differences.

  1. Education and Income Levels
  2. Obesity and Tobacco Use (preventative healthcare)
  3. Insurance Coverage
  4. Community's Healthcare Quality (resources available)
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Dr. Ali Mokdad commented on the study and why education and income levels would contribute to life expectancy.

"The more educated people are, the more likely they are to seek, understand and act on medical advice."

Of course, obesity and tobacco use are risk factors for health problems, specifically heart and lung health. However, obesity and tobacco use can contribute to overall health problems. They are typically seen as a more preventative determination of a shorter life expectancy.

Insurance coverage, whether from a job or purchased individually, will allow people to participate in more preventative measures as well as take care of health issues as soon as they appear. And obviously, if the community you live in has a higher quality of healthcare available, you would likely have access to that (and a longer life).

However, if you live in an area with a lower life expectancy, you can still increase your individual life expectancy.

What can you do to lengthen your life expectancy?
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In general, life expectancy is lower in poorer areas; however, Dr. Mokdad commented further that based on where you live alone isn't a death sentence to an early grave.

"We've created an outstanding medical system to treat disease, but we don't put nearly enough effort on preventing disease. We need to do more to eliminate tobacco use, reduce obesity and increase physical activity."

Here are some tips you can implement to increase your life expectancy:

  1. Focus on preventative healthcare: go to your doctor annually for routine check-ups, stop smoking, exercise, eat healthier, etc.
  2. Educate yourself about your healthcare. Ask your doctor any questions you have. Seek out medical attention when necessary.
  3. Try not to let your health insurance lapse; always have coverage in case of an emergency or non-emergency.

Do you have any other tips for a longer life expectancy?

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