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Healthy Life Expectancy Higher for Females, Whites at Age 65

Across all states and D.C., expected years of life in good health higher for females than males

THURSDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy life expectancy (HLE), a population health measure that estimates expected years of life in good health at a given age, is higher for females than males and for whites than blacks at age 65 years, according to research published in the July 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Man-Huei Chang, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the National Vital Statistics Systems, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to calculate HLEs for adults, aged 65 years, by sex and race, for the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the report, from 2007 to 2009, in every state and the District of Columbia, females had a greater HLE than males at age 65 years. In all states for which sufficient data were available, HLE was greater for whites than blacks, with the exception of Nevada and New Mexico.

"The results presented in this study can be used as a baseline for states to monitor the HLE of persons aged 65 years as they age, identify health disparities among subpopulations, and target resources to improve population health," according to an accompanying editorial note.

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