TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - How long you live may have something to do with where you live.
Even in the different areas around Tucson, we see a big difference in life expectancy.
In fact, according to the American Heart Association, the average person in the Foothills lives to their mid-80's. However, in South Tucson, most people don't even make it to 70.
Dr. Navin Kedia says there are a number of reasons for this."People who live in lower socioeconomic areas, low income areas, have less access to healthy foods. They have less access to health care. They are less likely to exercise," said Dr. Kedia, Cardiologist, Carondelet.
Heart health is something Charlene Grabowski says we all need to take seriously as heart disease is the number one killer. She survived a 100 percent blockage in an artery.
“It’s also called the widow maker,” she said.Charlene says stress from her job and not eating right were likely contributing factors. Now as a survivor, she encourages you to get educated.
“Correct body weight, good blood pressure, knowing your cholesterol, and then also making sure that you know your blood sugar levels,” she said.
Greg Taylor with Arizona Complete Health admits this isn’t easy for everyone. He calls the lack of access to things like medical care, a community issue.
“How do we enact policies? How do we have approaches to these communities that increases that access?” Taylor asks.
He encourages us all to spark healthy change.
“A lot of our philanthropic giving is targeted toward those social determinants. So, whether it’s supporting farmer’s markets… whether it’s supporting emergency home repair programs,” he said, “that’s why we do that.”
Dr. Kedia agrees it’s time to act. Not just for others, but for ourselves.
“You want to make these changes while it’s sort of a choice,” he said. “If you can prevent it then you’re way ahead of the game.”
We should note, Dr. Kedia says just because you live in the Foothills, doesn’t mean you get a pass. People there obviously have heart problems too. Bottom line, we should all be conscious of our heart healthy decisions no matter where we live.
For more tips on how to stay heart healthy, click HERE.