To Live Long and Prosper, Live Here

Region's life spans among nation's longest

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    A new study suggests that living in our area is good for your health. According to research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, life expectancy for men and women in Fairfax County, Va. and Montgomery County, Md. is within the top ten for the nation.

    Fairfax County men live longer on average than men anywhere else in the nation, with a life expectancy of 81.1 years. Men in Marin County, Ca. rank second in longevity, with an average life span of 80.8 years, while men in Montgomery County come in third, with life spans of 80.7 years.

    Women in Collier County, Fla. live the longest in the nation with an average life span of about 86 years, but women in Montgomery County had the fifth-longest life span at 84.5 years.  Fairfax County women live slightly shorter lives, with an average expectancy of 83.8 years, ranking eighth in the nation.

    Life expectancies for men and women in other suburban jurisdictions were also well-ranked, and the District showed some increases.

    However, the researchers note that there are wide disparities across the nation, and in some cases, life spans are stagnating or decreasing.  For example, women in five counties in Mississippi are expected to live less than 74.5 years, a shorter period than women in Honduras or El Salvador. Men in five Mississippi counties have the shortest life spans in the nation, living less than 67 years on average.

    The study authors note that reducing tobacco use, lowering obesity rates and better controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels would add years to the projected life spans of both men and women.