Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Who wants to enjoy a long life?

Who wants to enjoy a long life? 

I would guess everybody. Now who is lucky enough to have a long life?
According to Measure of America,  Asian Americans tend to live a long life.  How long? 
Try 87.3 years!

Asian Americans live longer than any other ethnic group in the U.S.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average overall life expectancy for everyone in the U.S. is 79 years.  So Asian American on average outlive the average American by over 8 years.

What accounts for the life expectancy difference?  Genetics, diet, other environmental factors?  If it were genetics alone, then one would expect Asian countries to have the longest average life expediencies.  What does the data say?
From WHO data, we see Japan does indeed lead the world in life expectancy at 84 years.  Still however over 3 years shorter than Asian Americans.  South Korean life expectancy averages 82 and ranks 9th in the world. 

However, other Asian countries rank below the U.S. average.  Vietnam life expectancy averages 76 years.  China life expectancy averages only 68 years.

These numbers suggest genetics along does not account for the long-lived Asian Americans.  Other environmental factors must be important.  Diet quality, wealth, health care, exercise and levels of pollution for example are likely important for a longer life.

While we cant say for certain why Asian Americans tend to live longer than others, we can say that the combination of being Asian and living in America gives one an excellent chance of enjoying a longer than average life!

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