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Maps illustrate how environmental factors shape health outcomes among people living miles apart

Thursday, May 28, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Angie Antonopoulos
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Researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Center on Society and Health, through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), developed and released four maps that illustrate how life expectancy can vary among people living only miles away from one another. The maps were developed to raise awareness on how social, environmental, and economic factors can impact health outcomes.  For example, in Chicago, life expectancy can vary as much as 16 years between seven “L” stops that separate the Chicago Loop from Washington Park. In Atlanta, life expectancy can vary as much as 12 years, between Buckhead and Northwestern.

Recent research demonstrates how safe and affordable housing, availability of nutritious food and physical activity, opportunities for education and jobs, clean air, and access to health care and social services can influence the health outcomes.

To build a Culture of Health we must build a society where everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, has the opportunity to lead a fulfilling, productive and healthy life,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD. “There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each community must chart its own course and everyone has a role to play for better health in their homes, in their neighborhoods, in their schools and in their towns.” 

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