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The Zip Code Gap: Life Expectancy Discrepancies Between Northeast Ohio Neighborhoods

Cleveland Map

A new project by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Virginia Commonwealth University finds that nearby neighborhoods in Northeast Ohio can have differences in life expectancy of up to 12 years.

Researcher’s looked at 5 areas in and around Cleveland including; St. Clair-Superior, Glenville, Maple Heights, Shaker Heights, and Lyndhurst

VCU’s Dr. Steven Woolf worked on the life expectancy study and says the research on those gaps helps to create a link between social environments and health outcomes.

“Neighborhoods that are highly segregated, that are designed in ways that cut communities off from the larger city and the larger economy, where transportation systems are designed in an inefficient or ineffective way to get to a good doctor or to get to a good job or to get to childcare.  All of these combine to produce this very disturbing disparity in our health.”            

Woolf says trends in the Cleveland area closely mirror data from other mid-western cities including Chicago and Detroit.

The Cleveland metro area is the 17th out of 21 locations in the nationwide project, detailing disparities in neighborhood life expectancies across the U.S.