By Whitney Teal
A mere 7.6 miles separates Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring—one of the best in the Washington, DC region—with MedStar Washington Hospital Center in the District, another of the best hospitals in the region. Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a nonprofit interested in improving health and health care, suggests that those few miles might make all the difference in your child’s life expectancy.
Babies born to mothers living in Montgomery County are expected to live an average of 84 years. That’s seven years longer than babies born to DC mothers, who are expected to live 77 years, and six years longer than in Prince George’s County, where the life expectancy is 78 years.
The study took the DC area and New Orleans and looked at life expectancy numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics to highlight disparities in health care and lifestyle habits throughout a region. In New Orleans, the differences in neighborhood life expectancy amounted to a difference of up to 25 years.
The maps are part of the foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America, which is reconvening to issue a list of recommendations on how Americans can be healthier, with a focus on early childhood and healthy communities, according to the foundation’s website.
What do you think? What might make Montgomery County a healthier place to live than DC? Tell us in the comments.