Head to the coast for a longer life

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PEOPLE WHO live on the coast of the Marina Baixa, Marina Alta and Vega Baja regions can expect to live a longer life than those living in the interior towns and villages, according to recent statistics.

The figures, released by the Generalitat’s Statistics Department, show women living on the coast could live an extra year and men up to two years longer.

The average life expectancy for coastal dwellers is 88, whereas for those who reside in the interior the age is 87.

Interestingly, this dichotomy is peculiar to the Alicante region, as in other areas of Valencia and Castellon, statistics show the figures are reversed and people living inland have a longer life.

The facts are even more significant, when surface area and population density are taken into account, as in the Alicante region, the differences are not as pronounced as in other parts of the wider region.

Antonio Martinez Puche, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Alicante, speaking after analysing the statistics said there were a number of reasons for the difference in life expectancy.

“The key is the benign nature of climate and greater availability of social health services available and these will naturally effect the health of the population” he said, adding ”In the coastal areas there is a greater concentration of resources of this type, both public and private”.

He also believes, people who move to the coast to be closer to the sea and beaches, tend to stay there for the opportunity to get more exercise, increasing their mobility. Whereas those living inland are not able to exercise as much and have less opportunities to be mobile.

A lesser amount of health and social provision and inferior communications, could also be contributory factors.

Another interesting statistic is the longevity index which takes into account life expectancy after the age of 65 and this too shows women on the coast could live up to 88 against 87 inland and for men the figures are 87 on the coast and 85 inland.

The report also concluded that by the year 2030, life expectancy for women could pass the age 90 barrier.

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