Study compares TN life expectancy counties to other countries

Study compares life expectancy in local counties to countries around the world

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In some East Tennessee counties, the life expectancy is the same as some of the poorest parts of the world. In some East Tennessee counties, the life expectancy is the same as some of the poorest parts of the world.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A study by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that life expectancy in Tennessee varies vastly depending on where you live. In some counties, the life expectancy is the same as some of the poorest parts of the world.

According to a new study, the average life expectancy for a male in Knox County is 74.5 years, and for a female it's 79.8 years.

The male average can be compared to countries like Oman and Slovenia. The findings say money and education play a big role in how long you live.

"People who struggle to make ends meet have a higher level of stress," explained Stephanie Welch with the Knox County Health Department.

Many of our surrounding rural counties had lower life expectancies than Knox County. In Grainger County, for example, men average at 71.6 years and women average at 77.4 years. The male average is the same as countries like China, Libya, Poland and Argentina.

"I think our traditional view of a rural community is that there are a lot of healthy people because they are all out farming, plowing and growing. The reality is that in rural communities, there's less and less farming. There's less and less manual labor," Welch said.

She says people in rural communities also usually don't have easy access to a variety of grocery stores or fresh produce.

You can take a look at how your county ranks compared to other parts of the world by clicking here.

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