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Study shows where seniors enjoy the best health-related quality of life in U.S.

December 3, 2012
by Sandra Hoban, Executive Editor
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New Hampshire ranks number 1 for best health-related quality of life in the country. Researchers found that where you live has an important influence on healthy lifestyles, according to a study presented at the Gerontological Society of America’s November conference. Nutrition, fitness and activity are positive behaviors for maintaining health as a person ages. “Healthy lifestyle is probably the major factor that is contributing to the quality of life,” Diana Kachan, lead author of the study, “Heath-Related Quality of Life in Older U.S. Adults, said in a Union Leader (Manchester, NH) interview.

Responses from nearly 80,000 adults at least 65 years old from the 1997-2010 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed. Older adults were grouped by region and state. The authors ranked them according to how they perceived their health status and their responses to questions asking if they needed assistance or if their health status limited the type of work they do.

The study’s health activities limitation index indicated an national average score of 0.73 rating, with New Hampshire ranking the highest (0.79) and Alaska placing last (0.62). Why are New Hampshire seniors healthier? Krachan said, “It probably has to do with population composition, access to healthcare, and it’s generally easier for people to get around and lead their lives.”

While the Northeast ranked very high, the South was positioned as the least healthy region in the country.

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