“Health differences between communities are rarely due to a single cause,” researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said in a press release.
According to an article in Kentucky Health News, life expectancy is driven by a complex web of factors that influence health: opportunities for education and jobs, safe and affordable housing, availability of nutritious food and places for physical activity, and access to health care, child care and social services.
“The health differences shown in these maps aren’t unique to one area. We see them in big cities, small towns, and rural areas across America,” said Derek Chapman, the VCU center’s associate director for research.
For Kentucky, the highest life expectancy is mostly grouped around the cities of Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Bardstown, Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Bowling Green. Meanwhile, the lowest life expectancy rates are seen in the Southeast region of the state, with Perry, Breathitt and Wolfe counties coming in at just 70 years.
For more on the study, please click here.