NPR confirms prevailing wisdom: Where you live has a big effect on your health status

Public health professionals have known for some time that where you live has much to do with your health status. This message has gotten beyond public health circles primarily due to the PBS program Unnatural Causes and related community engagement

Dr. Anthony Iton made the correlation between zip code and longevity . “Place Matters” programs throughout the country, including Wayne County, are focused on social determinants of health in specific geographic areas.

On June 23, National Public Radio added to the conversation with “Are Life Spans Getting Longer? It Depends On How Wealthy You Are” NPR reporter Kelly McEvers interviewed two women from different economic background. Her report provides a very detailed account of the health inequity of the two women.

McEvers concludes her report by saying, “Policymakers say this growing disparity between women…raises all kinds of questions. Should we raise the Social Security age if some people aren’t living longer? Will (the) Affordable Care Act help? What about increasing minimum wage? One thing researchers can agree on — the trend is not slowing anytime soon. The life expectancy gap between rich and poor is only getting wider.”