Although the title of this article may have grabbed your attention, most adults are well versed in knowing which cities are considered “bad parts of town” and most likely avoid them unless they have to be there. When gathering data to research the life expectancies of locals in hundreds of cities across the nation, it comes as no surprise that cities that suffer from higher crime rates are going to climb much higher on the younger lifespan timeline, than those cozy little suburbs that are comfortable for seniors of any age to continue lives in. What else can come into play, and how can you identify if your hometown is a health risk shortening your own lifespan?
This is exactly the topic that NPR focused on this week, with a lengthy article discussing real situations that can greatly sway one’s safety, and healthcare just by residing in a certain part of town. The team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation distributed a collection of maps that dictate some stark differences in life expectancies in most of the bigger cities inside the United States. Before you begin racking your brain trying to configure what would drop your city’s score; here are some of the factors that were prevalent in the study:
- Poverty- This isn’t alarming in any fashion, as the more hardships your finances take, the less services you’ll have at your disposal throughout life. From needing a root canal and never tending to it properly, to pulling that tooth at home and suffering health risks as a result; these are all too common scenarios in a poverty-stricken community, sadly.
- Violence- This one is just common sense; if you reside in a city that has a high rate of violence such as shootings, robberies, or carjacking’s; you are definitely taking years off of your life just being in a high crime area. Even if you personally are never involved in a crime of this nature, the risk and fear that you could be the next victim is enough stress to rob you of a long, healthy life.
- Environmental- If you reside in an area with lots of pollution, you are shortening your life. Living by factories, busy subways, train routes, or even a city that suffers horrible storms on a regular basis; you too are lowering your life span.
Experts say it is usually a combination of several factors that can make certain cities much higher on a scale than others, as a city in the South that has hurricanes and poverty can easily have a physiological effect on thousands of its residents.