27 January 2023

Miss Lizzie beat the odds: life expectancy

I've read stories lately about the declining life expectancy in the United States. Covid and opioids and fentanal get a lot of the blame. Be that as it may, people in the US seem to be dying younger…some of us are dying 'suddenly' or are in the category of 'excess deaths.'

A story about this, published last month, includes a map, graphs, lists, and links to additional information:


The information in the story above, amassed by NiceRx, a supplier of discount prescription drugs, shows that people who live in Hawaii have the longest life span at 81.  Number one and the others in the top ten list are shown here, although the ties among some states means it's not a top ten list but a top fourteen list:

The ten (fourteen, really) US states with the best life expectancy:
  1. Hawaii - 80 years and eight months
  2. Washington - 79 years and two months
  3. Minnesota - 79 years and a month
  4. California, Massachusetts and New Hampshire - 79 years 
  5. Oregon, Vermont - 78 years and nine months 
  6. Utah - 78 years and seven months
  7. Connecticut, Idaho - 78 years and five months
  8. Colorado - 78 years and four months
  9. Rhode Island - 78 years and three months
 10. Maine - 77 years and nine months

The ten (eleven) US states with the lowest life expectancy: 
  1. Mississippi - 71 years and 11 months
  2. West Virginia - 72 years and 10 months
  3. Louisiana - 73 years and a month
  4. Alabama - 73 years and two months
  5. Kentucky - 73 years and six months
  6. Tennessee, Arkansas - 73 and 10 months
  7. Oklahoma - 74 years and a month
  8. New Mexico - 74 years and six months
  9. South Carolina - 74 years and 10 months
 10. Indiana - 75 years

Harvard chimed in with more details about the decline:


What I find interesting is that Nicaragua's life expectancy is higher than any of the eleven states shown on the 'lowest life expectancy' list above...at more than 75 years.  Nicaragua’s life expectancy has been steadily increasing for the past 50 years:


I don’t know if any of this is information is valid but it is interesting. I’ve met lots of people, men and women, in the part of Nicaragua where I hang out who are living - independently - in their 90s.

The longevity information was published within days of the release of a Gallup poll that rated Nicaragua as the number one country where citizens feel at peace.  My guess is that feeling at peace may be contributing to the increasing life expectancy of Nicaraguans:


One old person in Bluefields whom I never got to meet but have admired from stories about her was Ivy Elizabeth Forbes Nelson, known as Miss Lizzie.  She was born in 1921 and died at home in 2021.  I'm told she kept dancing nearly to the end.  

This is who she was and how she is lovingly known:
"An Interview with Miss Lizzie"