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Southern and black seniors less healthy than others their age

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 29, 2013

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People who live in the South and blacks nationwide have fewer years of good health after age 65 compared with the rest of the population, said a study published in the July 19 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Overall, adults in Hawaii had 16.2 years of good health after age 65, the highest in the country. Mississippi residents had 10.8 years of good health after that age, the lowest figure among states (link).

Women fared better than men in all states, the study said. The most significant difference among genders was in North Dakota and South Dakota, where women had 3.1 more years of good health as seniors than men. Researchers examined 2007-09 data from multiple sources, including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the National Vital Statistics System.

The findings should be used to support the need for prevention programs that make it easier for people to be healthy no matter where they live, said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH.

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