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CDC - Golden years shorter in southern states
Old 07-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #1
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CDC - Golden years shorter in southern states

Golden years shorter, sicker in Southern states - The Washington Post

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Hawaii tops the charts in the government's first state-by-state look at how long Americans age 65 can expect to live, on average, and how many of those remaining years will be healthy ones, free of the illnesses and disabilities suffered late in life. The figures were released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC press release (and related links):

State-Specific Healthy Life Expectancy at Age 65 Years — United States, 2007–2009
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:53 AM   #2
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It would be interesting to compare these rankings with the state obesity rankings.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:28 AM   #3
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It would be interesting to compare these rankings with the state obesity rankings.
Or the percentage of uninsured. Or the typical diet of the region compared to other regions. Or to the amount of exercise one gets. (Some of these are correlated with obesity, but not entirely.) Or any other number of factors. It's important to determine that (a) correlation does not equal causation, and (b) to not start with a preconceived cause and use the science to "guide" you to the desired or expected conclusion.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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Studies like this have a lot of confounders which need to be rules out. As mentioned it could be diet, income level, education level, etc. My guess is it is a combination of all of these. Correlation is not Causation.

Also, most reporters I have have knowledge of know little or nothing about science and math. Since this story involves both (the science of living healthy and statistics) one has to wonder.

I hope the conclusion is wrong once corrected for confounders. Most Southerns I have met are pretty nice people.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
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Or the percentage of uninsured. Or the typical diet of the region compared to other regions. Or to the amount of exercise one gets. (Some of these are correlated with obesity, but not entirely.) Or any other number of factors. It's important to determine that (a) correlation does not equal causation, and (b) to not start with a preconceived cause and use the science to "guide" you to the desired or expected conclusion.
Exactly. Often Louisiana is at the bottom when states are compared this way. However, when individuals from Louisiana and from other states who are of the same racial and economic backgrounds are compared, it seems there isn't much difference. Poverty could be a significantly contributing factor in the South.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
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Or the percentage of uninsured. Or the typical diet of the region compared to other regions. Or to the amount of exercise one gets. (Some of these are correlated with obesity, but not entirely.) Or any other number of factors. It's important to determine that (a) correlation does not equal causation, and (b) to not start with a preconceived cause and use the science to "guide" you to the desired or expected conclusion.
Agreed. I simply mentioned obesity as this appears to be the biggest growing health problem in the U.S. over past 30-40 years, with potential to impact longevity. Comparison is not for conclusion purposes but to determine if further investigation is warranted.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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Seems rather obvious that it would be other factors (diet, poverty, obesity, access to healthcare, education, etc.). I don't think anyone would assume that living in the south, by itself, would cause a shortened lifespan.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:18 PM   #8
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Seems rather obvious that it would be other factors (diet, poverty, obesity, access to healthcare, education, etc.). I don't think anyone would assume that living in the south, by itself, would cause a shortened lifespan.
Given the stereotypes about the South and of Southerners, I wish I could say I agreed with your conclusion. Bashing and ridiculing "Bubba" is one of the few politically acceptable forms of prejudice remaining.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:24 PM   #9
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Bashing and ridiculing "Bubba" is one of the few politically acceptable forms of prejudice remaining.
Ain't that the truth.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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. Poverty could be a significantly contributing factor in the South.
The same goes for the states that have large Native American reservations, like Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and South Dakota
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:33 PM   #11
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Given the stereotypes about the South and of Southerners, I wish I could say I agreed with your conclusion. Bashing and ridiculing "Bubba" is one of the few politically acceptable forms of prejudice remaining.
As someone born and raised in the North, I agree, and I apologize if anyone took my comment regarding looking at the obesity factor as something against Southerners. I grew up with that stereotype until I traveled south of D.C (to Texas) for the first time when I was 21, and was blown away by the friendliness I encountered. A teachable moment for me to not listen to "stereotypes" but instead make an effort to interact with people.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:09 PM   #12
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In addition to the poverty, education, and other factors, there's also a cultural factor worth mentioning. I've lived in California and now in the deep south. They are very different cultures, in terms of their emphasis on physical health. CA is almost obsessed with appearance, fitness, and lack of girth. The deep south is ... well, not. If you're chubby out here, you fit in and don't get the social pressure and judgment you would face out in CA. Fat people are everywhere; it's not a big deal like it is in CA. The food choices are very different too, of course... CA of course is very health-conscious but down south it's very easy to find deep-fried everything (fried bananas ...fried pickles ... fried okra... you name it, we fry it).

So there's cultural support for healthy habits in some parts of the country, with social rewards and punishment doled out depending on whether you adhere to the model, whereas in other parts of the country, it's much more lax.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:03 PM   #13
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Given the stereotypes about the South and of Southerners, I wish I could say I agreed with your conclusion. Bashing and ridiculing "Bubba" is one of the few politically acceptable forms of prejudice remaining.
That's for sure! I guess I have lived 38 years in the South, and lived 27 years in places like California, Hawaii, and so on, and to tell you the truth the continual "Bubba bashing" fantasies about life in the South get a little tiresome.
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:36 PM   #14
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That's for sure! I guess I have lived 38 years in the South, and lived 27 years in places like California, Hawaii, and so on, and to tell you the truth the continual "Bubba bashing" fantasies about life in the South get a little tiresome.
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Bashing in general gets tiresome, as does all stereotyping.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:39 PM   #15
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And at the same time, I think southerners can lighten up about that stuff, too. I live in the deep ass south, in a state that regularly ranks at the bottom of just about every index there is (except the good ones). I chuckle along with the jokes. I know they don't apply to me, and I know they keep my job security high and my cost of living low (because no one wants to move here). So, I don't mind. It's sort of like the Texas stuff, to me -- "Yeah, it's awful here, awful." Plus, I think it's important to have a sense of humor about this stuff. There is a lot to laugh about in the south. The Bubba stereotype doesn't come from nowhere, after all. Have you met my (ex) in-laws? lawdie lawdie...
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:16 PM   #16
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The health habits varies because of all the reasons given. what is important is that we transplant with our own health habits and not the local for better or worse.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:40 PM   #17
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If you're chubby out here, you fit in and don't get the social pressure and judgment you would face out in CA.
I just want to ask- are you from the west coast? I have never before heard anyone refer to the deep South as "out here". It suggest to me that you are native to the far west, is this correct?

Ha
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:45 AM   #18
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So how does Fl fit in? Considering all the people that have and are retiring in Fl is it the south or north.

You wonder sometimes when you see folks putting sugar on their grits.

Cheers!
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:13 AM   #19
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+1
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:58 AM   #20
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I just want to ask- are you from the west coast? I have never before heard anyone refer to the deep South as "out here". It suggest to me that you are native to the far west, is this correct?

Ha
Good ear. I did spend most of my growing-up years in California.
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