NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Those who live in one Nashville-area neighborhood are expected to live up to 18 years longer than those who live in another neighborhood just miles away.
That’s according to a life expectancy calculator published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, using information from the National Center for Health Statistics. It’s designed to help us understand how much health is influenced by conditions where we live.
News4 used the online tool and found some startling results. For instance, the neighborhood surrounding Conexion Americas in south Nashville produced a life expectancy of 67.6 years, while the Sevier Park Community Center in Melrose produced an estimated lifespan of 77.9 years. That’s a 10-year difference between two locations less than 3 miles apart.
Consider two local high schools, 5 miles apart: The life expectancy for the neighborhood around Pearl Cohn High School in Hadley Park was 69.8, while Hillsboro High School in Green Hills produced an estimated lifespan of 84.9 – a 15-year difference.
The American Heart Association is taking a close look at the results.
“We are all interrelated, and what your neighbor experiences will have a direct impact on your life expectancy,” said Denise Costanza, vice president of Health Strategies. “If we can raise the life expectancy of certain targeted areas, that will benefit us as a city overall.”
Costanza said the disparities are due to a variety of conditions, including pollution, education, violence, access to healthy food and medical care.
“If access to healthcare is more common in one zip code than another, that might be an area where we can go in and do awareness campaigns or work with local clinics to try to improve the health of people that live in certain zip codes,” Constanza said.
The American Heart Association is compiling a list of the disparities to present to city and state leaders to address the issues on a larger scale.
Click here to check out the life expectancy calculator.