The states average is 79.6 years whereas central Medford falls nearly 13 years under that at 66.2 years. The highest expectancy rate in the state is in Portland at 89.1 years.
The national life expectancy rate is 78.8 years.
Jennifer Woodward, Ph.D. state registrar and a manger of the Center for Health Statistics says this is the first time they’ve ever been able to look at the differences between how long people live and the neighborhoods they live in.
Some of the results are based off of the opportunities people have to be healthy in certain neighborhoods.
One Central Medford resident who is 69 years old tells me this isn’t a problem for her.
“There’s very good opportunities to exercise and keep young I guess you could say,” Sandra Omeara said.
Omeara says she has many friends who have lived pass the life expectancy rate in central Medford.
Katrina Hedberg, M.D., M.P.H., state health officer and epidemiologist at the Public Health Division, says these numbers show them there’s a lot more work to be done in Oregon.
“This report tells us we have a lot of work to do to ensure everyone in Oregon has a chance to achieve optimal health no matter where they live, work, play, learn and age,” Hedberg said.
The report is part of the United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project and is a joint effort with the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The Oregon Health Authority is using this information to update the Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan.
Hedberg says, “we need to continue examining factors that affect neighborhood-by-neighborhood differences we see in these data.”