Researchers created the map below after analyzing data in 36 Phoenix area zip codes. As you can see, the life expectancy can differ greatly depending on where you live.
From the St. Luke’s Health Initiatives website:
Many factors contribute to the differences. Quality education and the opportunity for well-paying jobs are two examples. Access to affordable, quality housing and healthy foods are two more. Transportation has a role too. From sidewalks to light rail, how we travel can be a prescription for vitality, or it can isolate residents and cut off opportunities for well-being. It’s the same with food, housing and education. Where there are mostly lower-quality options, residents are less likely to lead healthy lives and more likely to have a shorter life expectancy.
The methods used to determine these life expectancy numbers as well the results of all 36 zip codes studied can be found here. According to a story in the Phoenix New Times, St. Luke’s Health Initiative President & CEO Suzanne Pfister said, “our zip code may be a more important indicator of health than even our genetic code.”
Hard to believe that a distance of about 12 miles can be a difference of 14 years of life expectancy. Let us know what you think when you see these numbers. Finding ways to close that gap will help us take another step toward our vision of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!