Study finds big gaps in life expectancy depending on your zip code

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 15, 2015) - New statistics released Wednesday morning show significant gaps in life expectancy depending on zip codes in the Indianapolis Metro area. Researchers found a 14-year life expectancy gap currently exists among residents in a 28-mile area.

For example, a baby born in the Carmel zip code 46033 is expected to live 83.7 years. A baby in the 46225 zip code, which is south central Indianapolis, has a life expectancy of only 69.4 years. The IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health hat IUPUI, in partnership with SAVI Community Information System, released the findings to encourage community members to make changes.

The literature from the study compares the local life expectancy numbers to worldwide rankings.  Carmel's life expectancy ranks among the top in the world. A baby born in south central Indianapolis is expected to live a shorter life than a baby born in Iraq.

"Life expectancy says as much – or more- about how societies are structured as it does about health,” said Tess Weathers, a faculty member in the Social and Behavioral Sciences department at the Fairbanks School of Public Health and the lead researcher on the project.

The findings from this study were shared at WFYI Wednesday morning. The presentation was followed by a forum on ways to close the gap.