Family ties increase longevity

<p>For all you parents out there that are missing your kids and for all those kids who think your 18 year old self is “an adult” who needs to break away and doesn’t want or need parental influence in your life, here is an interesting tidbit. </p>

<p>A recently released study by Harvard researchers that looked at longevity across the nation showed some interesting results. For the study, they broke Americans into 8 types. The group with the longest longevity was</p>

<p>10.4 million Asians, average per capita income $21,566, in 1,889 counties, life expectancy 84.9 years. This was considered middle income Asians. The longest longevity was 91+ for Asian women in higher income counties. </p>

<p>The lowest longevity was generally among high-risk urban blacks. </p>

<p>It was interesting to note what officials in both Texas and California refer to as the Hispanic paradox. </p>

<p>A professor at the University of Texas at Austin said the phenomenon is part of what some demographers and public health experts call the ``Hispanic paradox.''

``Even though Hispanics have less access to health care, even though they don't use health care too much and even though they have relatively lower incomes, they seem to live longer,'' said David Warner, an economist who has studied health care issues among Mexican-Americans.

It's not too surprising,'' said Steve Murdock, the demographer for Texas.`Hispanics often have high longevity that isn't always dependent on their socio-economic status. Their longevity is quite good compared to groups in similar circumstances.''</p>

<p>From a texas border newspaper comes the following.</p>

<p>A study Harvard University researchers released this month shows Hidalgo, Cameron and Starr counties have some of the longest life spans in the state, defying perceptions that low socioeconomic status and limited healthcare access decrease life spans in a predominantly Hispanic population.</p>

<p>The survey results for the three-county area are not completing surprising, according to the state’s demographer and a public health expert. They cited possible factors such as low infant mortality rate and close family ties among Hispanics.</p>

<p>"The reality is life expectancy doesn’t relate to the number of physicians or access to healthcare," said Dr. Brian Smith, regional director for the Texas Department of State Health Services. "It depends upon clean food and water supplies, vaccinations… and the presence of family members."</p>

<p>Hmm, the presence of family members and close family ties increase the length of our life. Asian students on this forum generally attest to the “close family ties” (generally complaining they are too close) and the expectation of continuing family connection and support for many Hispanics in those three counties is certainly of paramount importance. </p>

<p>Maybe those parents who advocate independence have it wrong. Maybe having input into your child’s college search and choice, expecting a weekly phone call with answers a little more detailed than a grunt or “nothing”, and requesting that when students return home from college that they participate in family activities and shoulder some of the chores around the house is just your way of increasing your life expectancy.</p>