County-by-County, Life Expectancy Varies by 20 Years Across US - NBC Southern California
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County-by-County, Life Expectancy Varies by 20 Years Across US

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    Counties in South Dakota and North Dakota had the lowest life expectancy in the U.S., while counties in central Colorado had the highest life expectancies, according to a study published in JAMA on Monday, May 8, 2017.

    Americans' life expectancy varies by nearly a generation across counties in the United States, according to a new study, from a high of 87 years in Colorado's ski country to a low of 66 years in southwest South Dakota, with other parts of the Dakotas, Appalachia and the Mississippi river basin close behind.

    NBC News reported that obesity and diabetes could explain a big chunk of that 20-year difference, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association's JAMA Internal Medicine Monday.

    Many studies have shown that where Americans live has a big effect on how long they live. But Dr. Christopher Murray's team at the University of Washington found that the disparity has increased by five years since 1980, when they looked at life expectancy and risk of death for each county across the U.S. from then until 2014.

    "The magnitude of these disparities demands action, all the more urgently because inequalities will only increase further if recent trends are allowed to continue uncontested," the team wrote.