New statistics released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suggest poor people don't live as long as the wealthy and some areas of Los Angeles have a life expectancy far less than others.
"There is a strong and consistent relationship between a person's health and what social and economic resources are available to that person," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Department of Public Health and the county's top health official.
Compton residents have a life expectancy of about 75.7 years on average, while those in La Canada Flintridge are expected to live 87.8 years on average.
Some poorer neighborhoods and communities of color have fewer grocery stores which sell fresh fruits and vegetables, and many lack parks and safe places where children and families can gather and play together, Fielding said.
The good news is that overall life expectancy is increasing and has reached an all-time high of 80.3 years in Los Angeles County.
Other communities with the greatest life expectancy include Walnut (86.6 years), Beverly Hills (85.6), and Rowland Heights (85.3).
Some other highlights in the report:
- in 2006, the estimated overall life expectancy of Los Angeles County residents was approximately 2.5 years higher than the national average (80.3 versus 77.7 years, respectively)
- in 1991, the average life expectancy for county residents were 75.8 years. In 2006, the latest year for which information is available, the number rose to 80.3 years
Coronary heart disease remains the leading cause of premature death for all genders, geographies, racial and ethnic groups.