Thursday, January 26, 2023

You live Hawai'i, you live longer

 You live in Hawai’i, you live longer.

This has been the case for a while, and in the latest statistics, the Islands continue to have the highest life expectancy of any state in the U.S. 

If you live here, on average you can expect to live to age 80.7 years, compared to a national average of 76.1. We are the only state with a life expectancy of more than 80.

The online publication The Hill just discovered the news, and wrote about it this week. 

At Raising Islands, we have covered this issue before.

It’s about exercise, the outdoor life, a low rate of smoking and a comparatively low rate of obesity.

Our rate of death from heart disease is the second-lowest in the country, after Minnesota (must be the ice fishing) and just ahead of Massachusetts (the beans?). The highest five states in heart diseases, listing the worst first: Mississsippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana. Here’s the data on that. 

We also have the second-lowest cancer death rate, this time just behind Utah and ahead of Colorado. The five worst: Kentucky, West Virginia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee. Here are those data. 

We are in the middle of the pack on death from strokes

There are some other factors, too. We like our beer, but deaths from alcohol are far lower than the national average. And our state spends three times per capita the average state’s spending on health care.

The Commonwealth Fund pulled together all the stats in its 2022 Scorecard on State Health System Performance. It found Hawai’i is not just at the top of the longevity list, but way ahead. 

The numbers grew even more disparate during the COVID-19 epidemic, when the number of excess deaths from all causes were less than a fifth in Hawai’i compared to the worst states—110 per 100,000 in the Islands compared to 596 per 100,000 people in Mississippi.

It’s not all great news. If there is one area that needs a lot of help, it is with mental illness. The Commonwealth Fund report found that Hawaii is the worst state in the country for adults with mental illness who did not receive treatment in 2018-2019. Two-thirds of our adults with mental illness did not receive treatment—and the statistics for Hawai’i are getting worse.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2023

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