Southern states crowd bottom of life expectancy rates

5:06 AM, Jul 23, 2013   |    comments
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(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Though the warm weather and low cost of living have been attracting retirees to the South for a long time, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control may have some seniors rethinking their retirement plans.

According to the study, a 65-year-old woman can expect, on average, to live an additional 20.3 years while men can expect about 17.7 years.

Compare that to the state with the longest lifespan, Hawaii, whose over-65 population can expect another 21 years.

In Georgia, however, men can expect about 16.7 years once they turn 65 and women about 19.4 years.

Perhaps more troubling is the number of healthy years the CDC estimates Georgia seniors will have. Though the life expectancy after 65, for both sexes, is estimated at 18.2 years, only 12.4 of those years are expected to be healthy ones.

Hawaiians expect only five of their final years to be unhealthy.

Southern states tend to have higher rates of obesity, smoking, heart problems and diabetes, all of which are contributing factors.

Mississippi, with an average after-65 life expectancy of 17.5 years, was the worst in the nation, followed by Kentucky, West Virginia and Alabama.

The CDC used data from the U.S. census, death certificates and phone surveys to determine their estimates.

(Atlanta Business Chronicle)

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