Many factors contribute to lower life expectancy in West Virginia

WHEELING, WV (WHEELING NEWS-REGISTER)  — A local health official believes many factors contribute to southwestern West Virginia’s “very low” life expectancy.

Dire results for that region of the Mountain State are cited in a new report issued in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The report is based on findings from an internal medicine investigation of inequalities in life expectancy among U.S. counties from 1980 to 2014.

The May 8 report stated: “Several counties in South and North Dakota (typically those with Native American reservations) had the lowest life expectancy, and counties along the lower half of the Mississippi and in eastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia also had very low life expectancy compared with the rest of the country. In contrast, counties in central Colorado had the highest life expectancies.”

According to the AMA, life expectancy at birth for both sexes combined in the United States increased from 73.8 years to 79.1 years between 1980 and 2014.

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