Study: Your Zip Code in the Valley Can Determine Your Lifespan

By Editor December 9, 2015 22:43

(Phoenix, AZ) – Can where you live in the Valley impact your lifespan? According to a new study it can.

A research study conducted in collaboration with Saint Luke’s Health Initiatives (SLHI) Foundation with researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reveals that where you live in the Valley affects not just health, but directly impacts lifespan.  A map of the Valley created by the organizations clearly illustrates that a distance of only 12 miles can shorten life span by as much as 14 years.

St. Luke’s Health Initiatives (SLHI) is a nonprofit foundation that is actively involved in designing healthy communities around Arizona. This new map, the latest in a series showing life expectancy by zip code, may help determine whether residents can expect to celebrate their 85th  (in Scottsdale) birthday or whether they are likely to only reach their 71st (South Phoenix).

The Phoenix map draws on research showing how multiple factors influence our health: access to affordable, healthy food, quality housing, transportation and well-paying jobs, among others. Now there is visual proof that the availability of mostly lower-quality options leads to less healthy—and shorter—lives.

In addition to the Phoenix map, 19 others have been or are in stages of development for various cities in the U.S. View them at and follow the Twitter discussion at #CloseHealthGaps.

“Where we live affects our health and well-being far more than most people realize. These maps prove that our ZIP code may be a more important indicator of health than even our genetic code,” said Suzanne Pfister, President and CEO of SLHI.

Several efforts are underway in Phoenix to tackle the many factors that contribute to this 14-year disparity. SLHI is a founding member of one of them, the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities (APHC). This collaborative effort includes more than 30 partners from housing, transportation, community development, economic development and health who work together to improve health and well-being. SLHI is also involved with the Arizona Alliance for Livable Communities (AALC) and other local efforts to improve livability.

By Editor December 9, 2015 22:43

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