Written by Heather Martino
Women are expected to outlive men by nearly 4 years in Nassau County, though that gap appears to be shrinking, according to a new study from the University of Washington that analyzed life expectancy rates for both men and women from 1985 to 2010.
Life expectancy for women in Nassau is 83.6 years, compared to 79.6 years for men. But the news is good for both sexes, since in 1985 life expectancy in Nassau was 78.1 years for women and 72.9 years for men.
Life expectancy in Nassau is higher than in Suffolk County, where women are expected to live 82.3 years while men on average get 78.7 years on the planet.
Using the map above, you can see how Nassau residents compare with the rest of New York and the nation.
Throughout the United States, major improvements in life expectancy occurred in areas with large cities, like parts of California, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Iowa, New York and Virginia. But the disparity is widening, with counties in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama seeing declines or stagnations in residents’ average age of death.
Researchers also found that women were living longer than men in every county in 2010. But men are catching up, having adding 5.3 years to their lives since 1985, while women only added 3.
Even more worrisome is that 45 percent of women in counties nationwide are dying younger now or at the same rate than they were in 1985. So while men are living longer in counties across the country, women are remaining stagnant in much of the country.
“As a nation, what we can do about that is have a concerted effort to tackle the key preventable causes in those communities where there is no improvement,” said Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Director Christopher Murray. He told Patch that in places where there is stagnation, local communities should “focus on changing things there that we know can make a difference, like diet, tobacco, high blood pressure and physical inactivity.”