US seniors in large metro, coastal areas outlive counterparts in rural, interior areas, study shows

New research shows life expectancy for U.S. residents living in rural and interior areas is shorter than that of residents living in urban metropolitan areas and on the U.S. coasts, according to a Kaiser Health News report.

A study published in The Journals of Gerontology examined county data on population and deaths from the Census and National Center for Health Statistics. Researchers analyzed the average number of years men and women are expected to live after age 65 in four metropolitan types and 10 geographic regions in the U.S. from 2000 to 2016.

Researchers found life expectancy at age 65 for women in large metropolitan areas was 1.63 years longer than for women in rural areas. Men in large metropolitan areas lived 1.42 years longer than their rural counterparts.

Researchers also found that seniors living in the Pacific region lived four years longer on average in 2016 than those living in the East South Central region.

"People living in 'interior' regions ― particularly Appalachia and the East South Central region [Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee] — have done worse [with regard to life expectancy at age 65] than those on the coasts," Samuel Preston, PhD, professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and study author, told Kaiser Health News.

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