If one wants to add 20 years to his life, maybe it would help to know which county to live in the U.S. to achieve just that.
Life expectancy varies in the U.S. depending on the location of one's county. Much of the geographic disparities in life expectancy can be explained by a combination of socioeconomic and race/ ethnicity factors, behavioral and metabolic risk factors, and health care factors. Policy action then targeting socioeconomic factor and behavioral and metabolic risk factors may actually help change the trend of increasing disparities in life expectancy in the United States. The findings are discussed in the study Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among U.S. Counties, 1980 to 2014 of JAMA Intern Med.
There was significant differences in mortality risk and life expectancy at the county levels in all years. In 2014, life expectancy for both females and males combined at the national level was 79.1 but there was a 6.2-year gap between the 10th and 99th percentile or ranking. There was also a 10.7-year gap between the 1st and 99th percentile. But the biggest variation is the 20.1 year gap between the lowest and highest life expectancy among all counties.
The report's findings say that several counties in South and North Dakota ( typically those with Native American reservations) had the lowest life expectancy. Counties along the lower half of the Mississippi and in eastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia also had very low life expectancy as compared in other counties in the U.S.
In sharp contrast, counties in central Colorado had the highest life expectancies.
In terms of the sexes, life expectancy at birth for both sexes combined in the U.S. increased by 5.3 years, from 73.8 to 79.1 years; by 6.7 years for men from 70 to 76.7 years; and 3.9 years for women from 77.5 to 81. 5. There are still significant variations in the county level. Counties in central Colorado, Alaska and along both coasts experienced much larger increases, while some southern counties in states stretching from Oklahoma to West Virginia saw little improvement over the same period. It was also found out that absolute geographical inequality in life expectancy at birth increased between 1980 and 2014, with the gap between the 1st and 99th percentile increased by 2.4 years. The mortality risks varied by age: the difference between the highest and lowest ranked declined by 42.9% among children aged 0 to 5 years; 18.9 for adolescents aged 5 to 25 years; and increased by 10.1% for age group 25-45 years; 15% for 45-65 years; and 48.2% for those aged 65-85 years. Relative inequality increased for all age groups, likely due to the overall decrease in mortality risk over this period.