Living in these metropolitan areas increases the lifespan of retirees

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Choosing to retire in the right metropolitan area may increase your life expectancy, depending on recent study.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University compared metropolitan areas to find out how they affect the longevity of older people who move there.

They found that for a 65-year-old who moves from a metro area in the 10th percentile (the low 10%) in terms of improving longevity in a 90th percentile (top 10%) metropolitan area, life expectancy increases by 1.1 years. This is equivalent to About 5% of the average residual life expectancy at 65 years.

In an MIT press release, the increase is characterized as “a noticeable boost.” According to co-author Amy Finkelstein, professor and economist at MIT:

“There is a substantially important causal effect of where you live as an older adult on mortality and life expectancy across the United States. “

Previous studies have found regional variations in life expectancy in the United States, but the MIT / Stanford study, published in American Economic Review, went further by analyzing the impact of the move.

Finkelstein and the other co-authors of the study – Stanford economics professors Matthew Gentzkow and Heidi Williams – took a close look at how two people from the same place (like Boston) fare after moving to two locations. different (like Minneapolis and Houston).

Researchers used Medicare health insurance records associated with millions of seniors to determine how healthy the elderly were before they moved and to try to determine the impact of a location on longevity. of those who move there.

Researchers found that many urban areas on the East Coast and West Coast helped increase the longevity of those who settled there. These subways include New York, San Francisco, and Miami. Some Midwestern subways, like Chicago, also performed well.

In contrast, the deep south and southwest subways have poor results. These included subways in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and northern Florida, as well as parts of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona.

As to precisely why some areas promote longevity more than others, Finkelstein says more research is needed before the answer becomes clear:

“The differences in health care from one place to another are significant and potentially significant. But there are also differences in pollution, weather, [and] Other aspects. What we need to do now is go into the black box of “the place” and figure out what matters to them for longevity. “

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