Everybody knows that people in different parts of the country behave differently when it comes to smoking and physical activity, but does it impact how long they live? The answer is yes. According to fascinating study, Americans are living longer, but not in every part of the country. In fact, in some areas, life expectancy has actually fallen mostly because of unhealthy behaviors. Smoking and obesity are largely to blame for the differences,but the environment in which people live, work and play, including their social, physical and economic conditions also influences heath status. By addressing the Big 4 (smoking, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose, and obesity) risk factors, life expectancy would be almost 5 years longer. Check out the study when you have a chance, especially the map, which shows life expectancy by county across the US (Yuma is the highest in AZ, Mohave the lowest). By the way, Yuma County has the lowest smoking rates and Mohave the highest in AZ.
About the Director
Cara M. Christ, M.D., M.S. became Director for the Arizona Department of Health Services in May 2015. Dr. Christ has served the agency for more than nine years. Among her many accomplishments at ADHS, Dr. Christ collaborated with health partners and stakeholders to develop strategic plans for infectious disease prevention and control including the Governor’s Council on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. She was involved in leading statewide efforts during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, and worked with partners to find solutions to improve childhood vaccination programs. In 2012, Dr. Christ managed the development and implementation of 20 Articles of Arizona Administrative Code for Health Care Institutions allowing integration of physical and behavioral health services statewide. Dr. Christ obtained her master's degree in microbiology with an emphasis in molecular virology and public health. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Follow the Director on Twitter @DrCaraChrist.